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Can A Membrane Switch Keypad Be Waterproof?

Epec Engineered Technologies
Written by Epec Engineered Technologies
Posted on May 16, 2014 at 1:49 PM

The need to protect your keypad from the ever-present threat of wear-and-tear is crucial for all applications.  If your control panel is going to be used in marine environments, medical devices, or other consumer electronics, the threat of water or liquid exposure is ever present. In wet situations, it is critical that all electronic components are completely sealed off from any outside substances that could damage the device.

So can a membrane switch be made to be waterproof? Yes! Just be sure to specify in your custom design you need a waterproof control panel vs water resistant. Membrane switch keypads can be manufactured to be water resistant using the correct design techniques and the proper selection of adhesives.

Without employing external sealing methods, membrane switches are limited by the pressure sensitive adhesives used in construction. The adhesives can be water resistant but are not completely waterproof.

Graphic Overlay vs. Silicone Rubber Boot

For complete waterproof membrane switch keypad assemblies, the graphic overlays need an edge gasket between the overlay edge and mounting case. The other viable solution is to replace the graphic overlay with a molded silicone rubber boot, which can be sealed on the front surface and edges for a complete waterproof seal. Choosing to use a silicone rubber boot vs a standard graphic overlay greatly increases the reliability of your overlay product.

Waterproof Sealed Membrane Switch Keypad

Waterproof Sealed Membrane Switch Keypad with Molded Silicone Rubber Boot


Conclusion

When developing a user interface product that requires protection from consistent water exposure, such as a control panel on a boat or an underwater application, you need confidence that you have selected a capable manufacturer. Epec's engineering team works closely with our customers to determine precise specifications that ensure we manufacture the proper solutions for evereything your application needs!

Visit our website for more information about our high reliability user interfaces.


Topics: User Interfaces, Product Design


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