Keypads are available in different materials. In addition to hard plastic, you can find them in silicone rubber. Known as silicone rubber keypads, they feature an elastic design. Silicone rubber is an elastic material. Even when stretched or deformed, it will return to its original shape. The elastic properties of silicone rubber make it a popular choice of material for keypads. But there’s a lot of misinformation on the topic of silicone rubber keypads.
Fiction: Silicone Rubber Keypads Cost More Than Plastic Keypads
While prices vary, silicone rubber keypads don’t always cost more than plastic keypads. Some of them actually cost less than their plastic counterparts. This is because silicone rubber keypads feature a simple design consisting of a webbing material around a switch. The webbing material — as well as other parts of the switch — are made of silicone rubber.
Fiction: Silicone Rubber Keypads Don’t Produce Tactile Feedback
Silicone rubber keypads do, in fact, produce tactile feedback. When you press down a key, you’ll feel the key pop back up. Silicone rubber keypads are characterized by their silicone rubber construction. And because silicone rubber is an elastic material, they produce tactile feedback naturally in response to key presses.
The level of tactile feedback produced by a silicone rubber keypad will depend on its snap ratio. The higher a silicone rubber keypad’s snap ratio, the stronger its tactile feedback will be. With that said, a high snap ratio comes at the cost of a shorter lifespan. It will expose the silicone rubber keypad to increased wear and tear, which could result in premature failure.
Fiction: Silicone Rubber Keypads Don’t Support Colored Keys
Another common misconception about silicone rubber keypads is that they don’t support colored keys. Normally, silicone rubber is either gray or transparent. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be colored. Manufacturers can add pigments to silicone rubber to achieve custom colors.
Fiction: Silicone Rubber Keypads Are Difficult to Clean
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Of all the different keypads, silicone rubber keypads are among the easiest to clean. The keys are integrated into the webbing, resulting in a sealed design. You don’t have to worry about dust or debris getting stuck under the keys, nor do you have to worry about moisture damaging the keys. If you notice any dirt or debris on a silicone rubber keypad, you can clean it using a damp washcloth.