Keypads are used in countless consumer and commercial applications. Chances are you own an electronic device with a keypad, in fact. Consisting of individual buttons, each of which featuring an underlying circuit, they are used to control the devices in which they are embedded. Silicone rubber keypads, however, feature a unique design that distinguishes them from other common types of keypads, such as mechanical keypads.
Overview of Silicone Rubber Keypads
Also known as an elastomeric keypad, a silicone rubber keypad is a switching component that’s defined by its use of silicone rubber. Like all types of keypads, it consists of buttons. Each button essentially functions like a switch. In its default state, the buttons have an open state in which their respective circuit is broken. When pressed, though, the buttons have a closed state in which their respective circuit is complete.
Silicone rubber keypads are just like all other types of keypads, except they are designed with webbing made of silicone rubber. Webbing, of course, refers to the material that connects the buttons to the underlying switch. The buttons aren’t placed flush with the underlying switch. Rather, they are raised slightly so that there’s space separating them from the underlying switch. Silicone rubber keypads use silicon rubber webbing to connect to the buttons to the underlying switch.
Natural Tactile Feedback
Because they contain webbing made of silicone rubber, silicone rubber keypads can produce tactile feedback naturally. They don’t require the use of any special components, such as a vibrating motor. Rather, silicone rubber keypads produce tactile feedback on their own simply through regular use.
When you release your finger from one of the buttons, the button will spring or pop back up. This physical sensation is a form of natural tactile feedback that’s not found in many other types of keypads.
Another way in which silicone rubber keypads are distinguished form their counterparts is their high level of protection against moisture. Moisture and switching solutions are two things that typically don’t go together. When moisture makes its way inside a switch, it may damage the circuity to point where it no longer works. Thankfully, silicone rubber keypads are designed to protect against the intrusion of moisture and other liquids.
Silicone rubber, as you may, is a durable yet semi-elastic material that repels moisture. When used in the construction of a switching solution, it creates a sealed layer to protect its otherwise sensitive and delicate components from moisture-related damage.