Keypads are used in dozens of consumer and commercial applications. They are mechanical interfaces consisting of multiple buttons or “keys.” You can find them on calculators, automatic teller machines (ATMs), telephones, vending machines, machinery controls and more. While they all feature multiple keys, however, keypads are available in different types. Some of the most common types of keypads include plastic, silicone rubber and ultraviolet (UV).

What Is a Plastic Keypad?

A plastic keypad is a keypad made of a plastic polymer material. They are available in different styles, such as low profile. Low-profile plastic keypads are small and compact. You can also choose from a variety of cosmetic finishes. Regardless, all plastic keypads are made of a plastic polymer material. The use of a plastic polymer is what distinguishes them from other types of keypads.

What Is a Silicone Rubber Keypad?

A silicone rubber keypad is a type of elastomeric keypad that features silicone rubber webbing. Silicon rubber keypads use webbing to separate their switch contacts. Each button has a switch contact. By default, these switch contacts are separated. The top part of the switch contact is separated from the bottom part of the switch contact — until you press a button, at which point the two parts will make contact. Silicone rubber keypads feature silicone rubber webbing between these two parts.

What Is a UV Keypad?

A UV keypad is a type of keypad that’s made of a UV-cured resin. They are typically made using injection molding. Injection molding is a molding process that involves the injection of raw material into a custom mold cavity. As the raw materials fill the mold cavity, it will create a new object in the shape of the mold cavity. UV keypads are made of a special material that hardens and cures under UV light.

Most UV keypads are coated with a protective layer. This layer requires UV light to cure. Only after it has been exposed to UV light will the layer harden.

Differences Between Plastic, Silicone Rubber and UV Keypads

Not all keypads are the same. There are several different types of keypads, each of which features a different design. Plastic keypads are designed using a plastic polymer material. Silicone rubber keypads are designed with a webbing made of silicone rubber. UV keypads are designed using UV-cured resin. As long as you choose a trusted supplier, such as Nelson Miller, you can’t go wrong with any of these keypads.