Most rubber keypads are produced utilizing silicone rubber and a course of known as compression moulding. Keypads are sometimes a very powerful element in an digital meeting as they type the interface between the person and the product. There are two major causes we use silicone rubber to provide keypads, and these are aesthetic design and materials properties.
Aesthetics, and what’s doable?
Silicone rubber is well colored and could be matched to Pantone and Ral references at low value. That is actually essential for keypads as they aren’t solely used because the interface however are sometimes used to assist add worth to the ultimate product.
Silicone rubber may also be pad printed or display screen printed utilizing particular silicone primarily based inks. These inks when utilized accurately type an enduring bond to the keypad and additional improve the design.
Extra superior interfaces require backlighting; this may also be achieved with silicone keypads. To provide a backlit keypad the silicone rubber that’s used is a excessive translucent silicone. The keypad is then sprayed with colored silicone ink earlier than having the legends laser-etched away again to the bottom silicone. This course of produces a colored keypad with clear graphics that may be backlit utilizing LEDs.
Lastly, silicone keypads with printing or sprayed colors have protecting coatings utilized; there are a number of coatings that may be utilized to silicone rubber. You may add a Custom Silicone Grid Mat silicone primarily based arduous spray coating that gives a silky comfortable contact to the keypad, PU spray coatings that add a a lot tougher, easy end and likewise resin coating which might be very high-quality, hardwearing coatings. All of those coatings shield the printing and add additional worth to the keypads.
Rubber keypads want to supply added worth to the product. With the entire ending choices out there, silicone actually affords this. In addition to aesthetics, nonetheless, the keypad wants to supply dependable operation and an extended working life – to make sure this; we use silicone rubber as the fabric.
Keypads are the principle type of interface utilized in digital assemblies; these assemblies are sometimes utilized in excessive environments the place temperature and water-resistance are essential. Silicone has a wonderful temperature resistance of -50 to +200 levels C and could be uncovered to wind, rain, and UV for lengthy intervals with nearly no change in its bodily properties. This makes it good materials for keypads which might be utilized in all these assemblies.
Though silicone doesn’t have notably excessive tear power it does provide excessive elasticity and when moulded to the proper design, it will probably produce keypads providing as much as and over 1 million operations and with glorious tactile suggestions.
Silicone may also be formulated to supply UL flame retardant, anti-static, and conductive blends, in addition to FDA authorised grades for sure functions.