What Are Membranes And How Do They Improve Upon Keyboards?
What Are Membranes & How Do They Improve Upon Keyboards?
A membrane keypad is a computer component whose keys are not separate, like other keyboards. Pressure pads have symbols and outlines printed on a flat flexible surface. Keys are completely covered by a clear plastic shell, which protects components from dirt.
How Do They Work?
Used with some early 1980s computers, membrane keypads work due to electrical contact between the surface of the keypad and the underlying circuits when keys are pressed. These are still used in some home computer suites and games consoles. Industrial computer systems used membrane based QWERTY keyboard, and can also come in the form of rollable and collapsible designs for portable computing technology.
The name of membrane keypads stems from the rubber that sits below the keys, which has raised domes beneath each one. When a key is depressed, it depresses the rubber dome and makes a connection. They are quieter to type on, lightweight and have fewer moving parts – making them easy on the wallet.
Membrane keypads are custom designed and manufactured to meet each customer’s specific needs, as well as their exact technical and ergonomic requirements.
Used in some of the most hostile operating environments, membrane keypads, keypads and switches have a plethora of benefits and upsides.
Fascia Graphics offers membrane products with a wide variety of polyester and polycarbonate finishes. All materials are suitable for harsh or extreme conditions. They are also chemical resistant and can be anti-microbial if required.
Renowned for being reliable in the most challenging conditions, all keypads are ATEX approved and IP54, IP65 and IP67 rated – This means that they are tested again some of the industry’s toughest regulations and standards.
Tactile and non-tactile response keys can be embossed with braille to improve accessibility for the visually impaired. LED lights can also be built into the pads, along with backlighting. All pads are interchangeable making them the ideal component to personalise, and with integrated PCB technology, steel/aluminium panels or ABS mouldings – No matter the technical specification, Fascia Graphics can help find the perfect solution for all membrane switches, keyboards and keypads.
What Is IP Rating & When Do I Need It?
IP stands for 'Ingress Protection' and each number represents a different value. For example, when specifying an 'IP54' rated keypad, the '5' refers to protection from dust and the '4' refers to protection from water. Specifically, the '5' is "Protected against dust with limited ingress, but no harmful deposits." The '4' is "Protection against water sprayed from all directions - limited ingress permitted."
IP54 is the lowest standard membrane that Fascia manufacture. This involves a small fillet of material that will fit where the tail/ribbon exits the rear.
IP65 is the second type of membrane that Fascia can offer. This upgrades on 54 with complete protection from dust, as well as now being protected against low pressure jets of water from all angles.
IP67 is the highest and final type of membrane that Fascia can offer, which offers a complete seal around the edge of the keypad. This keypad can withstand immersion within water between 15cm and 1m. This is due to the fact that the keypad fits within a small gasket that protects the circuitry from the outside elements.
If you have a requirement and need to discuss IP rating, please do not hesitate to get in contact with our sales team and discuss your requirement in detail!
Have you ever used a membrane keyboard? Do you know anymore benefits that are not on our list? Let us know on social media, we want to hear from you!
08 Oct 2018
You have just finished the final design of your product and are ready to start taking in potential orders. However, can you really afford to send it out without testing it first? Below are the potential consequences of selling it without a test drive:
An Amateur Mistake: Not testing your Market
23 Feb 2015
There is a saying that your business is only as good as the product it sells. Therefore if your business is to be successful and grow, your products need to be of the highest quality.
By utilizing screen printing in the production of your products, you can ensure a high quality product that stand...
10 Dec 2015
2015 has been a landmark year for manufacturing, with the entire supply chain ecosystem undergoing a significant business overhaul. Shifting consumer expectations and intense global competition dictated by the rise of e-commerce and mobile economies has caused businesses in the manufacturing sphe...
04 Feb 2016
For manufacturers, it is no longer enough just to make products. There is a new trend; Servitization, where manufacturers must also provide advanced service contracts to accompany their products.
Customer service is key to any business’s success. This service does not end at helping t...