Membrane switches

GMN provides complete user interface sub-assembly, design and engineering support, and custom manufacturing for membrane switch panels. Versatile and economical, membrane switches are ideal for industries such as medical and industrial equipment because they are easy to clean with no moisture ingress. They also offer thin design options coupled with nearly endless membrane keypad configurations.

Membrane switch keypad with overlay and electroluminescence (EL) backlighting
Membrane switch keypad with overlay and electroluminescence (EL) backlighting

Membrane switch technology advantages

The simple, low profile switch panel fabrication offers a custom interface at an economical price point.  Other benefits consist of:

  • Long life
  • Easy cleaning
  • Low profile and tactile response options
  • Resistance to moisture, chemicals, abrasion
  • Easier integration or retrofit with existing controllers

Membrane switch design options

A wide range of cost-effective design options make membrane switches an ideal choice for a variety of applications. Options include:

  • Display windows
  • Embossed or re-legendable overlay
  • Multiple overlay versions, single switch design
  • ESD/EMI shielding
  • Custom backlighting
  • Rigid subpanel or printed circuit board (PCB), which doubles as subpanel

Construction & specifications

A membrane switch is a micro-motion, momentary contact, flexible circuit with a printed graphic overlay. These interfaces are normally screen-printed on thin polyester using silver or carbon conductive ink. Metal domes are integrated to provide tactile feedback.

Actuation forcenon-tactile: 85g to 285g, tactile: 100g to 700g
Switch heightnon-tactile: 0.007" to 0.011", tactile: 0.012" to 0.040"
Panel thickness0.025" to 0.035"
Life cycle1,000,000 actuations
Operating voltage1VDC min. 30VDC max. 15 VRMS max.
Operating current250 mW maximum
Closed circuit resistance100 ohms maximum
Open circuit resistance10 Mohms minimum
Contact disturbance time20 ms maximum
Capacitance<500 pF
Static10k VDC minimum
Isolation1k VDC for 1 second
Dielectric ink withstand1kVDC between adjacent traces
Dielectric substrate material11kVDC/per mil in thickness
Operational temperature-30C to +65C
Storage temperature-40C to +80C
Moisture5% to 95% relative humidity, non-condensing.
EMI/RFI shieldingavailable