A rubber keyboard mostly consists of rubber components, making it exceedingly flexible and durable. A rubber keyboard is traditionally created by casting a solid key mat, hiding electrical components under the mat, and fastening a rubber back plate. Some electronics retailers carry these specialized keyboards, and their manufacturers offer them for sale. Several companies also produce rubber keyboards made for laptop use. Read More…
JN WhitePerry, NY | 800-227-5718
JN White is an ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR-certified manufacturer of membrane switches, graphic overlays, and custom labels. We nimbly handle projects big and small and have the uncommon ability to translate what our customers need into high-quality, high-precision outcomes.$$$
ECI TechnologiesWatertown, CT | 800-853-5617
At ECI, our rubber keyboards are made from silicon rubber, and can be manufactured using both compression and injection molding capabilities. We also offer compression molding, which allows you to have multicolored keys, carbon or gold pills, or actuators for metal domes. We can make the keypads and the individual keys itself in any shape or size. Contact us today with your specifications, and we will design a rubber keyboard tailor-made to your needs.$$$
ALMAXKirkland, WA | 888-211-6325
With over 30 years of experience, ALMAX is a leading manufacturer of membrane switch assemblies, printed/flexible electronics, and interactive technologies. Our engineering and manufacturing capabilities are implemented and trusted around the globe, and we're proud to offer our clients a complete range of services that meet the highest standards of quality and reliability.$$$
DuraTech IndustriesLaCrosse, WI | 608-781-2570
DuraTech Industries is a manufacturer specializing in custom graphics for physical user interface displays. We design membrane switches, graphic overlays, panels, nameplates, touchscreens, and more. We have experience designing solutions for the automotive, consumer appliance, industrial, and medical sectors.$$$
Marking Systems Inc.Garland, TX | 972-475-0770
Marking Systems Inc. was founded in 1970 to serve the Computer, Telecommunications, Electronics, Industrial Machine, Medical, Ad Specialty, Sporting goods, Marine, Measurement/Control and many other industries. Our specialty is providing products, including membrane switches of unrivaled quality, to our diverse customer base. Call us or visit our website today for more information.$$$
How Rubber Keyboards Operate
The name "silicone rubber keypad" refers to the material used for their webbing. As their name implies, they have silicone rubber webbing. In addition, these keypads are made of silicone rubber rather than the hard plastic used in other keypads. A raised switch, covered in silicone rubber webbing, can be found on most silicone rubber keypads. Underneath this button is a conductive gold or carbon pill. When you press the button, a printed circuit board (PCB) is in contact with the conductive gold or carbon pill, completing the circuit and launching the necessary command.
These switches are silicone rubber keypads because the webbing material that separates the conductive gold or carbon pull from the PCB is composed of silicone rubber. Although silicone-rubber keypads can be designed in various ways, most have a common layout consisting of silicone rubber material encircling an electronic switch in the middle. The silicone rubber substance has conductive material at the bottom, such as carbon or gold. The switch contact is located below this conductive substance, followed by a pocket of air or inert gas. The conductive material thus comes into direct contact with the switch contact due to the silicone rubber material deforming due to pressure applied to the switch. Silicone-rubber keypads also use the compression molding capabilities of this supple, sponge-like material to create tactile feedback. For example, the key will "pop" back up when users depress it and then release their finger.
How Rubber Keyboards are Made
Compression molding is the procedure used to create silicone keypads. Imagine the compression molding tooling as having metal top and bottom halves, like a waffle iron. As opposed to the waffle iron, which has two identical halves, this appliance has one half with the product design cut into it on the bottom and the other with the reverse to allow the silicone to fill the spaces.
The tooling's cavities are filled with raw silicone material by the machine operator, who then joins the two halves. Next, the tooling is heated to a certain temperature range for the silicone to fill the empty areas and become more viscous.
Advantages of Rubber Keyboards
- The main benefit of a rubber keyboard is its flexibility. A rubber keyboard can be rolled up and stuffed into a bag or briefcase without being concerned about jagged edges or potential keyboard damage. A rubber keyboard can be a helpful tool for persons who like a full-sized keyboard to attach to laptops and other portable digital devices because it is less heavy than other travel keyboard models.
- Many rubber keyboards are also spill-resistant, allowing users to use them in bad weather without worrying about spilled drinks. Some even have undersea uses.
- These keyboards are useful for those who frequently bang on the keyboard because it is impossible to harm the keys with strong hands and quick fingers.
- Some rubber keyboards are also incredibly sensitive, working with only a light touch, considerably reducing keyboard noise.
- When picking keypads, comfort is a major selling feature. A keypad won't fulfill its intended purpose if it is too harsh, too firm, or if it isn't ergonomically constructed. Fortunately, silicone-rubber keypads provide a remarkable level of comfort thanks to their smooth, soft, and enjoyable-to-press keys. Most individuals will concur that keypads made of silicone rubber are much more comfortable to push and operate than plastic ones.
- All keypad types require a small initial expenditure, but silicone-rubber keypads are typically more affordable. Users can incorporate them into expansive applications without becoming bankrupt. These features alone ought to be sufficient justification for selecting silicone-rubber keyboards.
Choosing the Proper Rubber Keyboard Supplier
To make sure you have the most constructive outcome when purchasing Rubber Keyboards from a Rubber Keyboard Supplier, it is important to compare at least 4 Companies using our list of Rubber Keyboard manufacturers. Each Rubber Keyboard Supplier has a business profile page that highlights their areas of experience and capabilities and a contact form to directly communicate with the manufacturer for more information or request a quote. Review each Rubber Keyboard company website using our proprietary website previewer to get an idea of what each company specializes in, and then use our simple RFQ form to contact multiple Rubber Keyboard businesses with the same message.