Silicone rubber keypad with domed protection layer applied to each key

Silicone rubber keypads are one of the most popular switching solutions among businesses. Like all keypads, they consist of individual switches, each of which is affixed with a key. Pressing a key will open or close the underlying switch. Silicone rubber keypads, however, are distinguished form all other keypads by the material from which they are constructed. They are constructed of silicone rubber.

Taking a Closer Look at Silicone Rubber Keypads

Also known as elastomeric keypads, silicone rubber keypads are a type of switching solution that’s characterized by the use of silicone rubber webbing. Most keypads have webbing. Webbing is the material that covers the keys. Silicone rubber keypads simply have silicone rubber webbing. The silicone rubber is used to form a shell over the keys. When you press a key, the silicone rubber webbing will deform. The respective key will then push down into the underlying circuit. Upon making contact with the key, the circuit will open or close. This is essentially how silicone rubber keypads work.

Common Applications for Silicone Rubber Keypads

What are silicone rubber keypads used for exactly? As switching solutions, they are often used to control machines, equipment and even specialized computers. Many hospitals and medical facilities use them. Silicone rubber keypads are ideal for use in these environments because of their sealed design. They can withstand moisture, water and other liquids without succumbing to damage. The same can’t be said for other types of keypads, many of which may become damaged in these environments.

All silicone rubber keypads are sealed. Silicone rubber, of course, is a synthetic material that’s completely waterproof. In silicone rubber keypads, it’s used as the webbing that covers the keys as well as the underlying circuits. No liquids can penetrate past the silicone rubber webbing. Therefore, the underlying circuits will remain dry at all times. This makes silicone rubber keypads a popular choice for hospital and medical facilities.

In the retail industry, silicone rubber keypads are often used in point-of-sale (POS) terminals. A POS terminal is a machine that processes payments. It’s essentially a newer and more advanced version of a cash register. Most POS terminals today are designed with silicone rubber keypads.

While silicone rubber keypads are mostly used for commercial applications, there are certain consumer applications for which they are used as well. Some household appliances are designed with silicone rubber keypads. Ovens and stoves often feature them. Many microwaves also feature silicone rubber keypads.