Rubber silicone keypads differ from traditional plastic keypads in the sense that they designed with rubber and silicone. They are typically made through the use of compression molding, in which rubber silicone is molded to form a webbing around the switch. When a key is pressed, the molding is pushed down to create a tactile response. Releasing the key allows the molded webbing to return back to its original position, using positive feedback.
There are several key benefits associated with rubber silicone keypads, one of which is improved durability. Rubber silicone keypads are classified as a type of “membrane keypad,” meaning they keys are a single piece and not multiple moving pieces. Once applied to a machine or device, there’s no risk of dirt or debris becoming stuck underneath the keys — a problem from which many standard keypads suffer. Rubber silicone keypads are also soft and comfortable to use, encouraging proper ergonomics.
A lesser-known benefit of silicone rubber keypads is the use of tactile response. In fact, changing only the webbing design is often enough to create light tactile feedback. Granted, it pales in comparison to the tactile feedback of vibration, but it’s still feedback nonetheless.
Now that you know a little bit about the benefits of rubber silicone keypads, you might be wondering where they are used. Even if you are unfamiliar with them, chances are you’ve used or have at least seen a rubber silicone keypad. Silicone rubber keypads are often used in remote controls for televisions and stereo systems, as the rubber face provides a comfortable effective means of input. Additionally, they are frequently used in electronic devices, games, and household appliances. You can even find silicone rubber keypads in smartphones and other mobile devices.
Of course, these are just a few of the most common application for silicone rubber keypads. As more and more companies seek alternative keypads for their respective industries, it’s safe to assume that the use of silicone rubber keypads will continue to rise. They offer the benefit of increased durability to protect against many forms of damage, making them the idea choice for various commercial applications.