Membrane switches are in use today in so many items, ranging from calculators and microwaves, to the space station. By definition, they are all electric membrane switches in that they all serve the function of turning off and on a circuit. Many of the membrane switch manufacturers are also membrane switch suppliers, a distributor of membrane switches, and makers of the custom membrane switch. Many membrane switch manufacturers also make a stock membrane switch as well.
Because there is some crossover with the manufacturer of membrane switches, this guide will break down the information provided into tactile membrane switches, non-tactile membrane switches and the industrial membrane switch. Each membrane switch design in the categories differs.
1. Pick tactile membrane switches to provide the user tactile feedback.
2. Use non-tactile switches when no feedback is necessary.
3. Choose the industrial membrane switches when hard use is expected.
Give the user immediate feedback with tactile membrane switchesThe construction of the membrane switch provides that extra give in the button for the user. Tactile membrane switches have more layers to allow for the tactile feedback when the user pushes a button. Manufacturers achieve this by adding domes made of stainless steel or some other material that compresses as they are pushed.
Pick the non-tactile membrane switch when no feedback is needed for the userA non-tactile membrane switch lacks the domes of the tactile membrane switches. However, they are just as effective, while having a lower profile. Non-tactile membrane switches are often less in price when compared to a tactile membrane switch. Manufacturers of non-tactile membrane switches are also quite often manufacture custom membrane switches as well.
Pick the industrial membrane switch where hard use is expectedThe industrial membrane switch can take a lot of use. The industrial membrane switch has a tougher construction so it can withstand the slings and arrows of many fingers in an industrial setting such as a factory, or in the military. Often these membrane switches had a rigid base, and graphic overlays designed to last.
- Membrane switches are an exciting example of today's technology where circuits can complete despite the button being almost flush with the surface of the panel. Because of the overlap in the creation of these switches, the reputation and application in which the manufacturer's membrane switches are used can help your company pick the membrane switches that will work best for your company.