Silicone rubber keypads often produce tactile feedback in response to key presses. When you press a key, you’ll not only hear it; you’ll feel it as well. Some silicone rubber keypads, however, produce stronger tactile feedback than others. The level of tactile feedback produced by a silicone rubber keypad is measured in snap ratio. To learn more about snap ratio in silicone rubber keypads, keep reading.
Overview of Snap Ratio
Snap ratio refers to the level of tactile feedback produced by a keypad, including silicone rubber keypads. The higher the snap ratio, the greater the tactile feedback.
Although there are exceptions, most silicone rubber keypads produce at least some tactile feedback. They are designed with a central switch that’s supported by elastic silicone rubber webbing material. The webbing material wraps around the central switch. Pressing the key will push the top conductive contact into the bottom conductive contact, thereby deforming the webbing material. When you release your finger from the switch, the webbing material will spring or “snap” back up. This action creates tactile feedback that you can feel.
How Snap Ratio Affects a Silicone Rubber Keypad’s Usability
Snap ratio can affect a silicone rubber keypad’s usability in several ways. As previously mentioned, silicone rubber keypads with a high snap ratio produce a stronger and more noticeable level of tactile feedback. In other words, you can easily feel the keypad respond to your key presses.
With a high snap ratio, you’ll feel the silicone rubber keypad respond to your key presses. If you press a key and it doesn’t produce tactile feedback, you’ll know that the silicone rubber keypad didn’t register your command. As a result, you can repress the key. A low snap ratio, on the other hand, can make it difficult to determine whether the silicone rubber keypad registered your command.
While a high snap ratio can improve the accuracy of your key presses, it may cause premature wear and tear of the respective silicone rubber keypad. A high snap ratio is essentially means the silicone rubber keypad will produce a stronger physical force. In turn, it may wear down more quickly than a silicone rubber keypad with a lower snap ratio.
Most manufacturers use a snap ratio of about 40% to 60% when designing their silicone rubber keypad. This range allows for a noticeable level of tactile feedback without causing premature wear and tear. As the snap ratio rises above 60%, the silicone rubber keypad may suffer from a shorter lifespan.