Silicone Rubber Keypads: 5 Terms You Need to Know

Mar 28, 2022

Multi-color silicone rubber keypad designed, engineered, and manufactured for Bayer Healthcare

When shopping for silicone rubber keypads, you may come across some otherwise unfamiliar terms. Silicone rubber keypads are switching solutions. You can use them to control one or more circuits. Silicone rubber keypads, though, are distinguished from other types of switches by their use of silicone rubber. This post reveals several terms related to silicone rubber keypads.

#1) Webbing

All silicone rubber keypads have webbing. The term “webbing” refers to the molded material that wraps around the center of a switch. Silicone rubber keypads are specifically made of silicone rubber webbing. The elastic properties of silicone rubber allow it to deform when pressed. And after releasing your finger from the webbing, it will bounce back to its original and upright position.

#2) Shore Hardness

You may come across shore hardness when shopping for silicone rubber keypads. The term “shore hardness” refers to a measurement of hardness for elastic materials, such as silicone rubber. The higher the shore hardness, the harder the material will be. Elastic materials, of course, are generally soft. Nonetheless, those with a high shore hardness are harder than those with a low shore hardness.

#3) Snap Ratio

Another common term you should know when shopping for silicone rubber keypads is snap ratio. The term “snap rato” refers to the strength of a keypad’s or interface’s tactile feedback. Tactile feedback, of course, is the sensation that you can feel when pressing a button. A high snap ratio means you’ll feel a stronger sensation. With that said, silicone rubber keypads with a high snap ratio may degrade more quickly than those with a low snap ratio.

#4) Laser Etching

Some silicone rubber keypads are laser etching. The term “laser etching” refers to a finishing technique that involves a high-powered laser to selectively melt away parts of the top layer. Laser etching can reveal a transparent underlying layer. Assuming the silicone rubber keypad has backlighting, light will shine through the laser-etched area. If you’re going to choose a silicone rubber keypad with backlighting, you may want to opt for laser etching.

#5) LEDs

Speaking of backlighting, many silicone rubber keypads have LEDs. LEDs, as you may know, refer to “light-emitting diodes.” They are commonly used as backlighting in silicone rubber keypads. Silicone rubber keypads may feature a backlighting layer. This backlighting layer may feature a perimeter of LEDs or an entire grid of LEDs. When the silicone rubber keypad is turned on, the LEDs will produce light that illuminates the keypad’s buttons and legends.

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