Silicone Rubber Keypads: What You Should Know

Jan 15, 2020

Are you looking to purchase for a keypad for your business’s operations? From manufacturing companies and restaurants to retailers and parcel couriers, countless businesses use keypads in their day-to-day operations. While there are several different types of keypads available, silicone rubber keypads consistently rank as one of the most popular. There are a few things you should know about silicone rubber keypads, however.

What Is a Silicone Rubber Keypad?

Also known as an elastomeric keypad, a silicone rubber keypad is an electrical switch that’s characterized by the use of silicone rubber webbing material. Silicone rubber, of course, is a synthetic material with high elasticity. As a result, it’s able to deform when subjected to stress or pressure.

To better understand silicone rubber keypads, you should take a look at their construction. They feature a switch button that hovers over a printed circuit board (PCB). Between these two components is a layer of air as well as webbing material on the outside. When you press the switch button, the silicone rubber webbing material deforms, thereby pushing the switch contacts together to complete the circuit.

Tactile Feedback in Silicone Rubber Keypads

Like other keypads, silicone rubber keypads are capable of producing tactile feedback. The way in which they produce tactile feedback, however, is different. Silicone rubber keypads produce natural tactile feedback from the deformation of the webbing material .

Pressing the switch button, as previously mentioned, causes the webbing material to deform. When you release your finger from the switch button, the webbing material will “spring” back to its original position. As the webbing material reverts to its original position, you’ll feel a physical sensation — and this is how silicone rubber keypads produce tactile feedback.

Backlighting Solutions for Silicone Rubber Keypads

Silicone rubber keypads often feature backlighting for an illuminated and enhanced visual effect. Light-emitting diode (LED) is one of the most popular backlighting solutions for silicone rubber keypads. It’s inexpensive, energy efficient and offers a long lifespan when compared to other backlighting solutions. Furthermore, LED backlighting can be used with light guides or fiber optic.

Like all keypads, silicone rubber keypads are a type of electrical switch. What makes them unique is that they contain silicone rubber webbing material, which is responsible for creating tactile feedback.

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