If you’re looking to buy a new keypad, you’ll need to choose the right type. Keypads are used extensively by businesses. You can find them in manufacturing facilities, restaurants, retail stores, commercial offices and many other workplaces. Not all keypads are the same, however. While they all consist of multiple switches, they are available in several types. Below are some of the most common types of keypads.

#1) Plastic

There are plastic keypads that, as the name suggests, are characterized by a plastic construction. They are made of hard plastic, and they use a mechanical method of operation. Most plastic keypads have scissor-style switches that control their respective circuits. When you press a key, a conductive contact at the top will push into a conductive contact at the bottom, thereby completing the circuit.

Plastic keypads are inexpensive, making them a popular choice for budget-conscious business owners. Because of their mechanical method of operation, though, they typically have a shorter lifespan than other types of keypads.

#2) Silicone Rubber

In addition to plastic, silicone rubber is a common type of keypad. Also known as elastomeric keypads, silicone rubber keypads are defined by their use of silicone rubber. Like all keypads, they consist of multiple switches. Silicone rubber keypads are unique, however, because they feature silicone rubber material around their switches.

All silicone rubber keypads have webbing material around their switches. The material used for this webbing is silicone rubber.

#3) UV

Another type of keypad is ultraviolet (UV). UV keypads are those that are treated with a UV resin layer. They still consist of multiple switches. UV keypads are simply designed with an added layer of UV resin., which is printed onto the first surface of the foil substrate.

Some of the benefits of UV keypads include the following:

  • Supports custom graphics and legends
  • Available in multiple backlighting options
  • Attractive and aesthetically pleasing
  • Extremely durable
  • Supports small sizes

#4) Membrane

A membrane keypad is a type of keypad that features an elastic material for its conductive contacts. Either the contacts themselves or the substrates on which they are installed are made of an elastic material.

Membrane keypads are made of multiple layers. The circuit for a membrane switch, however, is printed using conductive ink. The conductive ink allows the switch to open or close its circuits in response to commands. Pressing a key will force the conductive contacts to come together, whereas releasing a key will separate the conductive contacts.