Most switches don’t last forever. Over the course of several years, some of them may fail. You may press a switch, only for the circuit to remain stuck in the opened or closed position. Switches are circuit-controlling devices. When you press a switch, you probably expect it to change the orientation of the circuit. Failed switches, though, may not change the circuit’s orientation.
Some switches last longer than others. There are mechanical switches, and there are touch switches. Capacitive switches fall under the latter category. If you’re thinking about buying one or more capacitive switches, you might be wondering whether they are long-lasting.
Yes, Capacitive Switches Are Long-Lasting
Capacitive switches do, in fact, last a long time. This is because they don’t rely on moving parts. Capacitive switches use a non-mechanical method of operation similar to that of a capacitive touchscreen.
Both capacitive switches and capacitive touchscreens are designed to measure changes in capacitance. When turned on, they generate a uniform electrostatic field. Capacitive switches and capacitive touchscreens will then measure this electrostatic field. Touching or tapping the interface with a conductive object — such as a bare finger — will draw some of the electricity. Electricity will travel from the device’s interface to the conductive object, thereby changing the device’s capacitance.
Because they work by measuring changes in capacitance, capacitive switches aren’t susceptible to mechanical failure. They don’t have moving parts. You can use a capacitive switch simply by touching it with a bare finger. This will draw some of the capacitive switch’s electricity to your finger while simultaneously causing a reduction in capacitance. The capacitive switch will identify this change in capacitance, and it will respond by opening or closing the circuit.
How Capacitive Switches Are Constructed
While available in different types, capacitive switches typically feature multiple layers. They are constructed with a top layer known as an overlay. The overlay features the graphics, embossing, coatings and other decorations. In the center of a capacitive switch is the circuit. Capacitive switches may feature a traditional Printed Circuit Board (PCB) or a Flexible Printed Circuit (FPC). Behind the circuit is the backer. The backer is the final layer. Some capacitive switches have adhesive on the backing, whereas others have a plain backing without any adhesive.
Capacitive switches are long-lasting because they don’t have any moving parts. They work by measuring changes in capacitance. You can typically use a capacitive switch hundreds of thousands of times without fear of it failing.