Have you heard of dome arrays? Although they’ve been around for several decades, dome arrays have become increasingly popular in recent years. You’ll find them in Human Machine Interfaces (HMIs), mechanical control systems, keypads and more.

In case this is your first hearing about dome arrays, let me explain: A dome array is a type of tactile-based switch system that’s typically made of either metal or polyester contacts. Dome arrays feature a combination of membrane switches, printed circuits, conductors and other components. It’s called a dome array because of its dome-shaped design, which creates a natural tactile response when pressed. When you press down on a dome array, it deforms. When you release the dome array, it reverts back to its original shape — and this is responsible for creating its tactile response. So, why should consider dome arrays instead of conventional switches?

Long Life Cycle

You don’t have to worry about dome arrays failing or otherwise not functioning anytime soon. The dome arrays manufactured and sold by Nelson Miller have an average life of 1 million plus cycles, meaning you can press them more than a million times before they need to be replaced. This makes them an excellent long-term investment for mechanical engineers and companies.

Tactile Response

Another benefit of dome arrays is their tactile response. As previously mentioned, dome arrays create tactile feedback when pressed. Without tactile feedback, users may experience increased input errors. This isn’t a problem with dome arrays, however, since they create tactile feedback naturally with each press.


There are also customization options available for dome arrays. You can choose from dimple and non-dimpled dome arrays, as well as round, side cut and legged. Furthermore, dome arrays are available in several dome-plating options, allowing for an even greater level of customization.

Low Cost

Dome arrays have a low cost compared to other switch products. For business owners seeking hundreds or even thousands of switch solutions, this alone is reason enough to consider them. Business owners can save a substantial amount of hardware costs by using dome arrays, thereby making them a smart investment that pays off in the long run.

It’s important to note that there are also integrated actuator domes (IADs), which create an even stronger tactile response. Either way, though, you can’t go wrong with a dome array or IAD. They are both powerful switch solutions that excel in a variety of application.