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MEMBRANE KEYPADS and SWITCHES

Membrane Switch Design and Engineering

Flat, self-contained, adhesive keypads, graphic labels and switch banks

Membrane Switches, Keypads and Decals

At Keyflex, nestled in the vibrant heart of West Leederville, Australia, since 1993, our work is our passion. We don't just make membrane keypads, and decals; we create items that last and enhance the user interface experience.

Every product reflects our commitment to outstanding craftsmanship. We blend the latest technology with a deep commitment to quality, delivering silicone keypads that offer both toughness and a comfortable feel. Our membrane keypads are designed to be stylish, easy to use, and reliable across different settings, showcasing our versatility. Additionally, our decals aren't merely for show; they're built to endure tough conditions and still look great. By concentrating on these core values, we provide solutions that go above and beyond for our clients in West Leederville and other areas. Our understanding of our craft and unwavering dedication to excellence distinguish us in the electronics manufacturing sector.

No drawing? No problem! We only need some basic design information filled out on our membrane switch and decal quotation forms to quote.

LGF (Light guide film) Keypads with integral LED backlighting

The light guide film (LGF) brings integrated LED backlighting to membrane switches and front panel decals allowing text and full key illumination. Our LGF provides even light distribution across the keypad/decal front panel while keeping the thickness similar to standard membrane switch panels.

LED backlighting needs careful consideration and planning in order to implement successfully into a design. There are some key design criteria and some constraints to be aware of, so if you are considering an integrated backlight in your design, please contact Keyflex directly for further information.

LGF BACKLIGHTING DESIGNS

LGF effect
LGF Backlit Sample

Thin film backlight shown in a membrane keypad

Outstanding Reliability for membrane switches

We test our membranes, materials and components for operational lifespan to give you peace of mind

This short clip shows an actuation test where the life cycle of the keypad components with movement, such as a metal snap dome and overlay can be stress tested. A design can achieve 1M+ actuations.

Membrane design - Material characteristics

 

Circuit layers  

There are two basic types of circuit layers that are used in membrane switch assemblies, PET and FPC. PET is a polyester where the circuit is laid out in silver ink and applied to the base material using a screen-printing process.

It is suitable for circuit pitches of 1mm and upwards. 

FPC or flexible printed circuit

FPC is a polyimide (Kaptron) base with a copper etch for the circuit, similar to traditional PCB manufacture but in a much thinner format and allows for soldering of components and connectors.

It is best suited for circuit pitches under 1mm (eg 0.50mm)

Graphic Overlay materials

Graphic overlays for membrane switches are commonly made from polyester material. This choice of material is essential because it provides the necessary flexibility for seamless membrane switch operation, ensuring that the overlay does not fracture or break under pressure. In contrast, polycarbonate is often preferred as a base material for decals, overlays, and labels where movement is not a factor. However, when it comes to membrane switch applications, polycarbonate is not the ideal choice due to its limitations.

Polyester films offer various advantages for graphic overlays, including the ability to have a gloss or textured hardcoat finish directly embedded onto the film itself. This feature enhances the aesthetic appeal of the overlays while also adding a layer of protection. Additionally, it is possible to incorporate texturing and gloss finish areas using UV silk screening techniques applied to the base polyester.

When considering outdoor applications, it is crucial to prioritize UV stability to ensure longevity and durability. In this regard, Autotex XE stands out as a recommended option due to its excellent UV stability properties. By utilizing Autotex XE for outdoor graphic overlays, you can be confident that the overlays will resist the damaging effects of prolonged sun exposure, maintaining their vibrant appearance and functionality over time.

For medical applications, a specialized option known as Autotex AM is available. Autotex AM offers an additional layer of protection by incorporating an embedded antimicrobial agent within the surface coating of the overlay. This feature helps inhibit the growth and spread of harmful microorganisms, making it an ideal choice for medical environments where cleanliness and hygiene are of utmost importance.

In conclusion, the choice of materials for graphic overlays is crucial in ensuring optimal performance and longevity. Polyester films provide the necessary flexibility, while options such as Autotex XE and Autotex AM offer additional benefits such as UV stability and antimicrobial properties, respectively. By considering these technical details and selecting the most suitable material for specific applications, manufacturers can create high-quality graphic overlays that meet the diverse needs of their customers.