Durable & Ruggedized Solutions

CSI Keyboards designs and build products to last. We understand the importance and function that our keypads have in your products and design the keypads to withstand the test of time. We have over three decades of experience a membrane keypad supplier, designing high quality keypads that are both extremely durable and ruggedized. We have designed keypads and custom human machine interfaces that have gone into some of the toughest of environments and switches that need to meet specific environmentally sealing requirements for Temperature, Water, Dirt, Dust, Humidity, Altitude, Impact resistance, Vibration, and Chemical resistance.

Some of our technologies include the Life Extending Cushion, Durable and High Quality Polyester, PU Coated Rubber and Opti-Bonded Windows.

Life Extending Cushion Switch
CSI Keyboards’ Life Extending Cushion Switch or LEC Switch significantly increases the life of both the switch and graphic overlay and does it all while maintaining the time proven standard membrane switch construction. The LEC gives the keypad distinctive tactility with 90% less chance of damaged domes, or graphic overlay cracking and fatigue. The LEC also increases static immunity and has approximately 15kv to 20kv ESD immunity (no discreet shield necessary). The Life Extending Cushion is one of many advances CSI has brought and continues to bring to the keypad industry.

Durable Adhesives and Polyesters
CSI Keyboards utilizes the top of the line adhesives specially formulated to provide high bond strength to surfaces. Our adhesives are resistant to humidity, UV, water, temperature, and chemicals.

CSI Keyboards utilizes polyester specially formulated to resist ultraviolet light, moisture and wide variations in temperature. CSI Keyboards offers both fine and velvet polyester textures specifically designed for outdoor applications. Our membrane keypads are UV, humidity and chemically resistant.

PU Coated Rubber
CSI Keyboards typically uses a polyurethane coating on our rubber keypads to protect your keypad from chemicals, moisture, scratches, and any other wear and tear that the keypad might encounter. This PU coating protects both the printed and molded colors on the keypad, as well as the printed text on the keys themselves. This coating ensures a longer keypad life regardless of the environment.

Copper Flex Circuitry
CSI Keyboards uses copper flex circuitry in the majority of our keypad designs due to its excellent dielectric strength, thermal stability, chemical resistance and flexibility. Copper flex, also known as Kapton circuits, have become the superior choice over printed silver especially for outdoor applications. A printed silver circuit can be replaced with a copper and polyimide construction with minimal additional cost. Copper flex circuitry construction designs offer a significant advantage over printed silver.

Copper Flex membrane switch panels are produced using polyimide (Kapton) as the base material.  Copper flex switches are manufactured by laminating a thin sheet of copper to a flexible film substrate.  The copper is then chemically etched away, leaving the copper traces.  An additional layer of polyimide is laminated to the circuit leaving the gold contacts exposed.

Advantages of copperflex over printed silver circuitry is as follows:

  • Improved creasability – the ability to fold or crease without causing open circuits which you are susceptible to using silver ink
  • Ability to put solder components directly on flex, better adhesion than bonding to silver ink
  • Much more resistant to thermal shock
  • No potential problems with silver migration
  • Greater conductivity
  • Lowering the closed loop resistance and switch bounce will be reduced by gold plating the contacts.  We will have a gold to gold contact with no bounce versus silver to gold dome
  • Applying stiffener to tail end using heat lamination versus cold lamination which provides better adhesion and better for pinning
  • Ability to have a 0.5mm pitch vs. the 1.0mm minimum with printed silver
  • Tighter trace routing capabilities
 

Opti-Bonded Window
CSI Keyboards, Inc. has perfected the design, manufacture and application of clear polycarbonate to reinforce membrane switch display windows. By optically bonding durable, clear polycarbonate, CSI is able to strengthen the viewing areas over LCD’s, and VFD’s, etc. while retaining the clear clarity necessary in reading these displays. The process enables us to use standard overlay thicknesses (.005″-.010″) for flexibility, embossability, and cost while providing .030″ or more in thickness over the display. The Opti-Bond advantages include: abuse protection, readability, and a sealed window created using one continuous overlay surface.

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