We test our membrane and silicone keypads for longevity. 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.
Laser etched keypads
Laser etched keypads are produced using translucent coloured silicones with printed keytops, which are the sprayed with silicone paint. After curing the paint is laser etched to expose the translucent ink below. When backlit only the etched characters transmit light. This makes the keypads ideal for applications where excess light spillage would create problems for the user. Most colours are available for spraying including metallic colours such as silver and brass. Below is the process of laser etching being applied to a keypad that is to be backlit
Multi-coloured keypads can allow many different key colours within the one keypad. We work to standard colour matching systems such as Pantone and RAL. In addition, we can match client supplied colour swatches in many cases. By applying the colour to the key, rather than printing the colour on the top of the key, the cost of the keypad is reduced and the risk of ink wear is minimised
Plastic keycaps can be produced in coloured finishes or can be clear to allow the print on the keytops to be visible. The keycaps can also be sprayed and laser etched if desired.
Wear-resistant coated keypads
Wear-resistant coated keypads are achieved by applying a coating to the keypad after the post curing process. This means any printing or spraying are also protected by the coating. To avoid potential ink wear we recommend using a wear resistant coating in applications where the keypads will be subjected to high usage or will be used in a harsh environment.
Epoxy Coating Silicone Keypads
Epoxy coating can be left clear to display the printed ink on the keytop or can also be sprayed and laser etched. The epoxy coating can have either a gloss or a matt finish.</html>
Plastic feel keypads/plastic keycaps
Plastic feel keypads/plastic keycaps in some applications our clients have chosen the cost savings and the ease of assembly offered by silicone keypads, but have requested a plastic keycap feel. This can be achieved by using plastic keycaps, or by applying an epoxy coating to the keytop. In addition, thermoformed keypads can be produced where the key height is low and the key travel short.
Thermoformed keypads are produced using polycarbonate or polyester, which is printed on the rear surface and then thermoformed to fit over the keypad or plastic insert. The ability to create small, closely pitched keys makes them ideal for small hand held appliances where a keypad’s size is critical.