CSI Keyboards specializes in the design and production of onboard instrumentation for seafaring vessels. Marine controls and instrumentation face some of the greatest challenges when it comes to the environment they must to perform in. Being constantly exposed to all of the elements marine navigation controls must be able to withstand temperature extremes, constant UV exposure, and extreme moisture levels from driving rain and salt sea spray.
For marine applications, CSI Keyboards typically recommends the rubber keypad construction due to its ability to be IP67 environmentally sealed while maintaining excellent tactile response. We utilize a proprietary coating technology specially formulated for marine and outdoor applications to protect against UV exposure. These rubber keys can also be engineered to have a greater tactile feel than a standard membrane switch, which helps in tough environments especially if the user is wearing gloves. Silicone rubber has also been shown to extend the life of the switch due to its cushioning qualities, and even acts as an EMI barrier.
The ability to mold rubber into any shape or size, allows our engineers to design the rubber so it is sealed and provides a gasket-like benefit. Additionally, CSI will use a proprietary potting technology, specially formulated for the marine environment, to seal and protect the entire keypad from the elements. Elastomer keypad construction also allows for backlighting should the application arise. CSI Keyboards recommends using either a copper flex circuit or printed circuit boards with gold contacts for marine applications due to the environmental demands.
Custom Marine Instrumentation Keypads and Interface Capabilities & Features
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