Membrane Switches

CSI Keyboards is a global leader and specialist of custom designed and manufactured membrane switches. A membrane switch or flat panel switch consists of a printed polyester or polycarbonate overlay adhered to a printed circuit using domes for electrical contact and tactile feel.
With our unlimited design and manufacturing capabilities, CSI Keyboards is able to supply our customers with custom tactile membrane keypads that meets their needs as a user interface and face plate to their product. By working directly with our customers, we are able to engineer and manufacture custom membrane switch and membrane keypad technology that meets specific customer requirements in both performance and visual aesthetics.

Custom Membrane Keypad Solutions & Features:

  • Pillow or rim-embossed keys and graphics
  • Metal dome switch keyboards and poly dome tactile membrane switch assemblies
  • Flat switch or non-tactile membrane switches
  • Backlighting of membrane keypad switch
  • Environmentally sealed membrane keypad assembly
  • Etched copper on Kapton flex circuitry or printed silver circuit
  • Latest dome technology for tactility
  • EMI / ESD / RFI Shielding
  • Thin and low profile
  • Integrated transparent or smoked windows
  • Integrated displays and touch screens
  • Digital printing for high end graphic overlays
  • Epoxy and UV coated keys
  • Selective texturing
  • Standard membrane keypad connectors
  • Rigid support backers including integrated metal or G10 backers
  • Internally and externally engineered venting

Membrane Switch Backlighting
CSI Keyboards has set itself apart from the competition by its unparalleled excellence in custom membrane keypad backlighting. By utilizing LEDs, electroluminescence, light guide film, fiber optics and other backlighting technologies, CSI Keyboards, Inc. has designed and manufactured keypad backlighting solutions for the top tier medical, military, as well as many different civilian industries. From the simplest single colored LED indicator and LED membrane switch with backlit keys, to the most complicated multicolored membrane keypad switch assembly, CSI Keyboards will work with you to bring your specific custom backlit keypad switch design to life.

CSI Keyboards uses many different technologies to backlight your product including but not limited to:

  • LEDs: membrane switches with LEDs are still the most popular and economical method for keyboard backlighting. LEDs are most commonly used to backlight keys, icons and symbols. LEDs are also typically used as indicator lights. A combination of LEDs, Light Guide Film and proprietary CSI backlighting methods can be designed to backlight the entire surface of a user interface.
  • Light Guide Film (LGF): designed to evenly distribute light from top or side firing LEDs, providing bright, uniformed illumination. It also reduces the amount of LEDs needed, saving power consumption. The design and utilization of light guide film (LGF) technology has become one of the most common methods of interface backlighting. CSI Keyboards uses proprietary techniques to design the light guide film so it is optimized for light redirection and reflection giving the customer the brightest possible backlighting solution. Light guide film dots are also designed and implemented which allow for the optimization of light distribution to obtain maximum brightness and uniformity. Common problems that many of our competitors face are light leakage and hot spots. CSI’s backlighting designs prevent any light leakage and hot spots from occurring, and also result in much brighter light guide film and interface.
  • Electroluminescence (EL): applied on a very thin layer between the graphic overlay and the circuit. EL uses a printable ink deposit to illuminate the switch and provide a uniformed illumination.
  • Fiber Optics: provides a flexible backlighting layer that can be incorporated between the graphic overlay and the circuit layer allowing the entire surface area of the membrane switch to be evenly backlit.

Membrane Switch Sealing & Durability
Many of our customers require keypads that must survive harsh conditions in the toughest of environments. And by utilizing some of our proprietary technologies and designs, our keypads can be built to last two million cycles and beyond. CSI Keyboards utilizes copper flex circuity and proprietary designs such as the Life Extending Cushion Switch and the Seal Frame to ensure your keypad is able to withstand and perform in extreme environments.

  • Copper Flex Membrane Switches, also known as polyimide Kapton circuitry, are used in the majority of CSI Keyboards’ keypad designs due to its excellent dielectric strength, thermal stability, chemical resistance and flexibility. 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. Copper flex has become the superior choice over printed silver especially for outdoor applications. Copper flex circuitry construction designs offer a significant advantage over printed silver and a printed silver circuit can be replaced with a copper and polyimide construction with minimal additional cost.
  • Life Extending Cushion is a proprietary design using a specialized stack up of materials built to withstand the roughest of environments. Not only has it been great for new programs, but it has also been the savior for many companies replacing competitors’ failing keypads currently in the field.
  • Environmentally Resistant Adhesives
    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.
  • Seal Frame switches have proven to be as robust as other sealing methods such as perimeter temperature sealing. CSI Keyboards’ proprietary perimeter seal frame can be included in your design at minimal additional cost.

High Performance Membrane Switch Polyester & Adhesives
CSI Keyboards utilizes a wide range of high quality polyester in all of our membrane keypad designs. All of our keypad overlays offer distinctive texture with excellent tactile feel, while also being robust and delivering exceptional resistance to a wide range of chemicals, solvents, surface wear, and abrasion. The latest polyester technologies with the highest demands are our Environmentally Resistant; Soft Touch; and Antimicrobial polyesters.

  • Environmentally Resistant 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 (UV, humidity and chemically resistant).
  • Soft Touch Polyester: offers a distinctive soft and silky texture, similar to that of an elastomeric keypad.
  • Antimicrobial Polyester: perfect for medical applications, providing protection against a many bacteria including Ecoli and MRSA.

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.

Engineering Capabilities
As one of the most experienced keyboard manufacturers and membrane switch companies in the country, CSI Keyboards boasts an unmatched engineering team in the membrane keypad industry having well over 100 years of combined experience designing and engineering highly durable and reliable membrane keypads, rubber switches, and other user interfaces. Our engineering team has designed keypads for top tier medical, military, industrial, aerospace, marine, food equipment, automotive fitness, and appliance companies all over the world.

While the majority of our competitors rely solely on overseas engineering and manufacturing sources, CSI Keyboards’ engineering department is based here at our ISO 9001: 2015 certified facility in Peabody, MA, USA making communication with our customers seamless from the early stages of the design, right through final production, and then throughout the life of the product. Having the ability to both design and assemble custom membrane keyboards in-house also gives our engineers unmatched rapid prototyping capabilities that other keypad manufacturers simply cannot offer.

CSI’s engineering capabilities are second to none and have developed some of the most innovative designs ever to be introduced to the membrane keypad and switch industry including new cutting-edge methods of backlighting, environmentally sealing and ruggedizing keypads to withstand the harshest of conditions.

Complimentary Samples Available Upon Request
Complimentary samples of our membrane switch technologies are available upon request. Please feel free to fill out a Quote Form or Contact Us by telephone or email to request samples of our products which will further demonstrate our membrane keypad capabilities.


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