Dome arrays have become increasingly popular in recent years. You can find them on membrane switches, keypads and even printed circuit boards. For a better understanding of dome arrays and how they work, keep reading.

Overview of Dome Arrays

Dome arrays are semi-spherical, dome-shaped interfaces. They serve as the interface between a user and a device. To control a device, you can press the device’s dome arrays. Each dome array is essentially a button. Pressing a dome array will open or close a circuit, thus controlling the respective device.

How Dome Arrays Work

While there are different types of dome arrays, they all work in the same way. They feature conductive contacts that work in conjunction with underlying conductive contacts.

Dome arrays are installed on electrical devices. In their default position, the conductive contacts of the dome arrays are separated from the conductive contacts of the electrical devices on which they are installed. Pressing a dome array, however, will result in the two electrical contacts touching each other. This will complete the circuit while subsequently sending a signal to the electrical device.

Common Features of Dome Arrays

Tactile feedback is a common feature of dome arrays. When you press a dome array, you’ll feel it respond to your command. Dome arrays produce natural tactile feedback. You’ll feel them “snap” back up. This tactile feedback can reduce errors and increase input accuracy.

The tactile feedback producers by dome arrays can even be controlled. You can order dome arrays with more or less tactile feedback depending on your application. High tactile feedback will result in a stronger response to button presses.

Dome arrays are also available in dimple and non-dimple versions. Dimple versions, of course, have a dimple on top. Non-dimple dome arrays don’t have a temple on top.

You can rest assured knowing that dome arrays are long-lasting. While some of them last longer than others, most dome arrays have an average lifespan of over 1 million cycles. In other words, you can press a dome array 1 million times without it failing.

Dome plating is another common feature of dome arrays. While some dome arrays consist entirely of a soft top layer, others have a metal top layer that’s applied over the existing top layer. Known as dome plating, it’s a common feature of many dome arrays. Dome plating will create stronger and more durable buttons, making this feature ideal for stringent usage.