You can’t choose a membrane switch without considering the panel. Like all switches, membrane switches are used to control a circuit. They feature one or more buttons that, when pressed, will open or close a circuit. Membrane switches simply feature an electrical contact on a flexible substrate.
All membrane switches, however, require a panel. It’s an essential part of a membrane switch. Without a panel, you won’t be able to control the circuit within a membrane switch. What are membrane switch panels exactly?
Overview of Membrane Switch Panels
A membrane switch panel is a surface that’s used to activate a membrane switch. You’ll have to press your finger against it to open or close the circuit.
Membrane switches may sound complex, but they feature a relatively simple design. They feature two electrical contacts that are separated by air. PRessing the membrane switch panel will force the top contact into the bottom contact. When the two electrical contacts touch, the membrane switch will activate.
The membrane switch panel is the flat and smooth panel on the front of a membrane switch. It’s the uppermost part of a membrane switch. To activate a membrane switch, you’ll need to press the membrane switch panel.
Top 3 Types of Membrane Switch Panels
While available in different sizes and styles, most membrane switch panels fall under one of three categories: plastic injection molded, metal and circuit board.
Plastic injection molded membrane switch panels are characterized by their manufacturing process. They are manufactured by forcing or injecting heated plastic into a mold cavity. For applications in which the membrane switch panel needs to be flush with the case, plastic injection molded is recommended.
Metal membrane switch panels are characterized by the metal from which they are made. As their name suggests, they are made of metal. You can find membrane switch panels in stainless steel and aluminum.
Circuit board membrane switch panels consist of a circuit board. They are essentially printed circuit boards (PCBs). Each circuit board membrane switch panel consists of a PCB or PCB material. When compared to other types of membrane switch panels, circuit board membrane switch panels are lightweight. They are also nonconductive, making them preferable for certain electrical applications.
Membrane switches require a panel. The panel is the interactive surface on top of a membrane switch. Some membrane switches feature a plastic injection molded panel, whereas others feature a metal or circuit board panel. Regardless, a membrane switch panel is an important of a membrane switch.