If you’re planning to buy a new touchscreen, you might be wondering whether they are moisture resistant. It’s no secret that moisture and electronics don’t mix. When exposed to moisture, electronics can short-circuit, resulting in permanent damage. With that said, not all touchscreens are susceptible to such damage. While some touchscreens may sustain permanent damage when exposed to moisture, others will continue working.
Many capacitive touchscreens are moisture resistant. Projected capacitive touchscreens, for instance, are typically designed with a sealed top layer. This layer prevents moisture from reaching the underlying circuit board. You can use a projected capacitive touchscreen in humid or otherwise moist environments without fear of it sustaining damage.
It’s important to note, however, that moisture may prevent a projected capacitive touchscreen from identifying and responding to your touch commands. Projected capacitive touchscreens may not sustain damage when exposed to moisture. Nonetheless, they may fail to respond to your touch commands.
When compared to capacitive, resistive touchscreens offer an even higher level of moisture resistance. Resistive touchscreens, of course, are designed with multiple layers. They have a top layer and a bottom layer, which are separated by a middle layer of air or inert gas. Like with projected capacitive touchscreens, the top layer is sealed so that moisture can’t reach the underlying circuit board.
Many restaurants use resistive touchscreens because of their moisture-resistant properties. Humidity is a concern for restaurants. Cooking appliances produce steam that raises the surrounding humidity level. Fortunately, resistive touchscreens are naturally protected against humidity and other forms of moisture. Even if they are directly exposed to moisture, resistive touchscreens won’t sustain damage. You can continue to use a resistive touchscreen, in fact, while it’s covered in moisture.
Surface acoustic wave (SAW) touchscreens, on the other hand, typically offer a low level of moisture resistance. SAW is one of the most unique types of touchscreen technologies. It doesn’t use capacitance or pressure to detect touch commands. Rather, SAW touchscreens use ultrasonic sound waves.
A SAW touchscreen is a type of touchscreen device that detects touch commands by projecting ultrasonic sound waves across the display interface. When you perform a touch command, your finger will disrupt the sound waves in that area. The SAW touchscreen will then register this disruption as a touch event.
While highly accurate and equally responsive, SAW touchscreens offer minimal protection against moisture. Moisture will interfere with their ability to detect touch commands.