Amidst the waves of technology that continually wash over the modern world, keyboards still stand the test of time. They do not, however, remain unchanged. The standard keyboard now stands alongside several types, such as multifunctional, handheld and flexible keyboards, made from different materials. 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.$$$
ECI TechnologiesWatertown, CT | 800-853-5617
At ECI, our silicone keyboards can be manufactured using both compression and injection molding capabilities. We can make the keypads and the individual keys itself in virtually any color, shape, or size. Contact us today with your specifications, and we will design a rubber keyboard tailor-made to your needs. Because the keypads are molded, their designs can vary from super simple to ultra-exotic. Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities.$$$
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.$$$
One of these keyboard types is the silicone keyboard. Along with the silicone keyboard stands the silicone keypad, which uses similar technology. Keyboards and keypads made from silicone are common for a number of reasons. Firstly, silicone is considered to be an abundant resource, and as a result, products made with it can be cheaply produced. Secondly, a silicone keyboard can be quite durable, in some ways even more durable than a standard keyboard. Additionally, the silicone keyboard skin can protect the keyboard from many different substances.
One type of keyboard that is almost universally made from silicone is the flexible keyboard. Its silicone makeup allows it such flexibility that it can be rolled up or folded, though it must be on a hard surface to work. The silicone is also liquid and dust proof.
Silicone keypads use the compression molding properties of silicone rubber to create angled webbing around a switch center, which, when pushed down, uniformly deforms to produce a tactile response. When the pressure is released, the switch returns to its neutral position with positive feedback.
Silicone keypads are not generally used with computers per se, but rather have applications in TV remote controls, video and HIFI units, mobile handsets, low current switching in automobiles, electronic games and toys, and industrial control equipment. Such equipment is used in the marine, medical, and military industries, and is sealed to comply with specific industry standards for protection against elements like dust and liquids.
A silicone keyboard or keypad can be customized to create several different surface effects. For example, a keyboard or keypad can take one, multiple or flowing colors through the addition of pigment into the natural silicone. Individual keys can also be illuminated by SMT LEDs that are placed on circuit boards after laser etching.