Silicone rubber keypad integrated with flexible printed circuit

Not all keypads are used in gentle, climate-controlled environments. On the contrary, most keypads are used for commercial purposes, so they are commonly used in rugged environments. You can find them in factories, warehouses, outdoor kiosks and other rugged environments.

Keypads are naturally exposed to more wear and tear when used in rugged environments. Therefore, business owners must choose the right type of keypad. If you’re thinking about keypads for your business, you might be wondering whether silicone rubber keypads will withstand rugged environments.

Yes, Silicone Rubber Keypads Are Suitable for Rugged Environments

Silicone rubber keypads are absolutely suitable for rugged environments. Also known as elastomeric keypads, they feature silicone rubber webbing around the center of the switch.

Each button on a silicone rubber keypad has a circuit contact below it. The buttons and circuit contacts are separated by default. When you press a button, though, you’ll push it into the underlying circuit contact. Contact between the button and the circuit will complete the circuit.

Silicone rubber keypads are characterized by their use of silicone rubber webbing. Webbing is the material that separates the buttons from their underlying circuit contact. All silicone rubber keypads feature silicone rubber webbing.

Moisture Resistant

Why are silicone rubber keypads a smart choice for rugged environments exactly? With their silicone rubber webbing, they are moisture resistant. Like all keypads, they contain a circuit. Circuits can sustain permanent damage when exposed to moisture – and those used in silicone rubber keypads are no exception.

Fortunately, the circuit in silicone rubber keypads is protected from environmental contamination. Silicone rubber webbing sits over the circuit contacts. As long as the silicone rubber webbing remains intact, the circuit contacts will remain dry.


Silicone rubber keypads are long-lasting. Even in rugged environments, they won’t fail prematurely. You can use a silicone rubber keypad for many years in rugged environments.

The long-lasting properties of silicone rubber keypads can be attributed to their sealed design. As previously mentioned, they feature silicone rubber webbing over their circuit contacts. This elastomeric webbing material will protect the circuit from damage.

Customizable Snap Ratio

You can customize the snap ratio of silicone rubber keypads. Snap ratio, of course, is a measurement of tactile feedback. It represents how much tactile feedback a keypad will produce in response to button presses.

If you’re going to use a silicone rubber keypad in a rugged environment, you may want to choose a low snap ratio. A low snap ratio means less tactile feedback, but it will protect the silicone rubber keypad from unnecessary wear and tear.