Membrane Switch Embossing
Membrane switches are one of the most common and cost effective human-machine interface systems. They provide users of all types of machines with a simple and reliable way to input information. From the icemaker on your refrigerator to the control panel on your washing machines to the attendant call button on an airplane, membrane switches have become a part of everyday life.
Membrane Switch Construction
While designs vary considerably depending on application, a typical membrane switch consists of a lower circuit, circuit spacer layer, upper circuit, overlay spacer, and overlay. The most commonly used material for the different layers is polyester. Below is a typical example of membrane switch construction.
Standard & Custom Embossing that Meets Your Specifications
The challenges created by the evolution of membrane switch technology were the driving force behind the development of Hytech’s two original embossing technologies. As membrane switches evolved, new materials and complex designs required more advanced embossing technology. As the industry, evolved so did Hytech’s equipment, tooling, and processes.
Hytech offers two types of embossing services for membrane switch manufacturers: hydro form embossing and Polydome® forming. Hydro form embossing is used to process graphic overlays. Our proprietary Polydome® forming process is to thermoform tactile domes in the circuit layer of membrane switches. Hytech’s Polydome® embossing is a suitable alternative to metal domes, and Polydomes® offer significant advantages over metal domes.
Embossing Processes & Pricing
To provide membrane switch customers with a simple, straightforward service pricing model, the complexity and functional requirements of embossing were used to create the service classifications shown below. To obtain service pricing, use the classification below in conjunction with our Quick Reference Guide.
SHAPES: All forms which are flat top where the height is raised (embossed) or recessed (de-bossed) to a single uniform dimension from the original material surface. Standard embossing must be less than .040 inches (1.0mm). Examples include keypad and rail or rim embossing.
TOOLS: Standard emboss tools are photo etched on polymer plate material.
SHAPES: Forms that require drafted sidewalls, contours, multiple shapes, multiple levels or deeper draws in excess of .040 inches (1.0mm).
TOOLS: Custom emboss tools are CNC machined aluminum plates.
SHAPES: Formed shapes that require a tactile response with a specific force or feel incorporated into the formed shape. The most common tactile form is a hemispherical dome but other non-round shapes providing tactile response are possible.
TOOLS: Tactile form tools are CNC machined aluminum utilizing a set of standard tactile dome shapes.
*** Polydome® is a registered trademark of Hytech Worldwide.