Preventing Membrane Switch Failures

A lot of time and effort go into designing and manufacturing membrane switches, so it can be such a shame if the final product is not properly handled or assembled upon completion. Typically, the number one cause of keypad failures is in fact improper handling or assembly. 

Here are a few quick prevention tips to help you avoid damaging your membrane switches:

1. Key Pressing: Do not press the domes or keys in the air or unsupported as this will result in dome damage (such as bent domes). If a key feels “dead” or “flat”, it’s usually due to a bent and damaged dome. Ensure the membrane switch is on a flat and rigid surface when pressing any of the keys. 

2. Bending or Flexing: Never bend or overly flex a membrane switch. Bending the switch can damage critical components on the circuit such as domes, LEDs, etc.

3. Creasing Circuit Tails: Avoid creasing a printed silver circuit tail. The creasing of a silver flexible circuit will most assuredly cause the silver ink to crack. Copper flex circuity is more forgiving and allows for creasing, more on that here.

4. Keypad Surface: Ensure that the surface (the keypad is being applied to) is clean and debris-free prior to membrane switch application. It’s always great assembly practice to clean the surface with isopopyl alcohol prior to adhering the membrane switch to your assembly.

CSI Keyboards Membrane Switch
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