When researching membrane switches, you’ll probably encounter laminated layers. There are different types of membrane switches. Some of them feature different types of circuits, materials, backlighting and other specifications than others. Nonetheless, all membrane switches have laminated layers. It’s a defining characteristic that distinguishes membrane switches from other types of switches. What are laminated layers in membrane switches exactly?
Overview of Laminated Layers
Laminated layers are exactly what they sound like: multiple layers that are joined together. All membrane switches feature laminated layers. They aren’t made of a single or solid piece of material. Rather, membrane switches are made of multiple layers. Known as laminated layers, they are typically joined with adhesive. Adhesive is placed between the laminated layers to hold them together.
The Overlay Layer
The uppermost layer used in membrane switches is the overlay layer. It’s one of several laminated layers in membrane switches. The overlay layer contains the graphics that represent the membrane switch’s buttons. To use a membrane switch, you’ll need to press one of its buttons on the overlay layer.
The Circuit Layer
In the middle of a membrane switch is the circuit layer. The circuit layer consists of a Printed Circuit Board (PCB). Most membrane switches feature an overlay layer, followed by a spacer layer and then a circuit layer. The spacer layer is simply designed to separate the overlay and circuit layer. Pressing a button will force the overlay layer into the circuit layer.
The Rear Adhesive Layer
The rear adhesive layer is a layer of adhesive. It’s found below the circuit layer. The rear adhesive layer lives up to its namesake by consisting of adhesive on the back of a membrane switch. It’s used to bond the cir4cuit layer to the tail filler layer.
The Tail Filler Layer
Finally, membrane switches have a tail filler layer. The tail filler layer is the bottommost layer. It serves as the bottom or back or a membrane switch. While they can be designed in different ways, a typical membrane switch has an overlay layer, followed by a spacer layer, circuit layer, rear adhesive layer and tail filler layer.
Membrane switches are distinguished from other types of switches by their use of laminated layers. All membrane switches have laminated layers. They are made of many individual layers that are joined together. The end result is a versatile, low-profile switching solution. Hopefully, this gives you a better understanding of laminated layers in membrane switches.