Creating A Silicone Rubber Keypad

Document Sample
Creating A Silicone Rubber Keypad Powered By Docstoc
					When it comes to switching technologies, nothing comes close to the ease being
offered by silicone keypads. Silicone keypads, also known as elastomeric keypads,
have found extensive use not just in the industrial setting but also in the consumer
sector as a low cost switching solution. If you are not familiar with how a silicone
rubber keypad looks like, you might want to try checking out the keypad of your
mobile phone or the keypad of your TV 鈥檚 remote control.
  Silicone keypads can come in a number of shapes and sizes. Oftentimes, the key
shape plays a factor on how ergonomic the keypad is. For instance, circular keys tend
to be easier to use than keys with a half-moon shape. Once the shape of the key has
been determined, manufacturers of this type of keypad would have to choose the way
by which the rubber would be created and the legends printed.
  There are three ways by which the markings on the keypad can be made 鈥?printing,
laser etching, and plastic key caps. Of these three, printing is the most common
method. In here, the rubber is fixed so that the key top is flattened before being screen
printed. It is the arc of the key top that determines where the print should start.
  silicone keypad printing can also be done by laser etching. This method is
recommended for those electronic gadgets that need a keypad capable of having
backlights. There are three steps involved in this method 鈥?the spraying of a
translucent base coat ink on the translucent keypad, the spraying of an opaque top
coat ink, and the laser etching to reveal the base coat.
  On the other hand, of the three, the plastic key caps are considered to be the longest
lasting when creating a silicone keypad. This is because plastic key caps have a
reputation for withstanding wearing out. This method is usually seen in mobile
phones where plastic caps are used over rubber.
  In some industrial and consumer gadgets, you might notice a different kind of
keypad, one that in which the keys are not protruding. This is known as a membrane
keypad. And is not to be confused with a rubber silicone keypad where the keys are
separate from each other.