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Membrane Switch Manufacturers and Companies

IQS Directory provides a comprehensive list of membrane switch manufacturers and suppliers. Use our website to review and source top membrane switch manufacturers with roll over ads and detailed product descriptions. Find membrane switch companies that can design, engineer, and manufacture membrane switches to your companies specifications. Then contact the membrane switch companies through our quick and easy request for quote form. Website links, company profile, locations, phone, product videos and product information is provided for each company. Access customer reviews and keep up to date with product new articles. Whether you are looking for manufacturers of computer switches, rubber switches, tact switches, or customized membrane switches of every type, this is the resource for you.

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  • Switch Membranes Save the Day

    Disaster is looming: your four-year-old, after becoming bored with making finger paintings on the wall with chocolate pudding, has found his way up onto the couch beneath the thermostat. Thinking the thermostat membrane switch pad bears a striking resemblance to an electronic talking/singing alphabet toy he likes to play with, he decides to mash the keypads in hopes of eliciting his favorite alphabet song (C is for Cantaloupe). When that fails, he toddles off to destroy something else. When you return from work, after firing the babysitter you've got your...

  • Membrane Switches vs. Discrete Key Switches

    I've already spent a lot of time emphasizing the benefits of membrane switch use compared to discrete key switch use. Now I'm going to emphasize it some more. If you understand the concept of what a membrane switch is and does, and if you understand the concept of what a switch panel or keyboard with discrete switches is and does, it should be easy to discern the benefits and drawbacks of each variety. Let's start with the keyboard in front of you (if you're reading this on a mobile phone,...

  • Understanding the Value of Membrane Switches

    If you're having trouble understanding how and why membrane switches are useful and important tools, consider this situation. You and a few friends have gathered in your living room to watch a game on TV. The gathering involves a lot of food and drinks, which, combined with spontaneous outbursts in reaction to the game, is a recipe for disaster. One of your friends, whose personality is characterized by a combination of hyper excitability and limited spatial awareness, inadvertently knocks a plate of sticky snacks over onto your remote, which is...

  • Membrane Switches-Everyday Convenience from Simple Technology

    by Jenny Knodell, IQS Editor Based solely on the way membrane switch' sounds, I would think it was some sort of futuristic half-biological half-electronic device used in laboratories; definitely not something I've come across in my everyday life. In reality, they are very simple and common aspects of technology, and they are used by anyone that cooks actually, anyone that heats up food or uses a phone. Basically, if you don't live in a third world country, you push membrane switches every single day that you get out of bed....

  • IQS Featured Profile: Membrane Switch and Panel, Inc.

    by Nicole Tracey, IQS Editor With over thirty years of experience in meeting or exceeding the needs of market leading OEM customers, Membrane Switch and Panel, Inc. is a company that you can depend on to get the quality products your industry needs. They take pride in the high quality put into all their products that are made right here, in the United States. A family owned and operated company, located in Orange County, California, they are known for going the distance to provide exceptional levels of customer service. What...

  • Custom Membrane Switches Have Much to Offer

    If you've ever watched weekday daytime television, depending on the channel you watched, you're likely to have seen commercial after commercial advertising health insurance policies to retired people. One of the incentives they often offer is some small, free gift, such as a calculator or another kind of small electronic device. In many cases these free gifts are printed or etched with the logo or name of the company from which they came. In what is likely the interest of establishing brand identity and saving money, many of these small...

Industry Information

Membrane switches are user-equipment interface utilities that allow for the communication of commands from users to electronic devices. Every economy on earth relies extensively, either directly or indirectly, on electronic devices. Interface utilities like membrane switches give users control over their devices. For this reason, they are just as important as the devices they control. The tremendous need for interface utilities has inspired the creation of entire industries dedicated to their design.

Membrane switches can be thought of as one category of interface utilities alongside touch screens, plastic keyboards, toggle switches and many other kinds of control systems. Interface utilities can be as simple as tactile switches for controlling lighting, and they can be as complicated as membrane keyboards or keyboard switches for use with computers. Custom keypad and custom membrane switch manufacturers abound; the market for membrane keypads with specialized graphic overlays is very large. Membrane switches are valued because of their low cost and versatility; they can be designed with inexpensive circuitry as well as advanced flexible circuitry for use in products that involve moving parts or that are subject to impact or vibration. Membrane switches are prized over other interface utility varieties because of their layered design. Their plastic and rubber keypads are less susceptible to accidental spills or dirt accumulation, as there are no spaces between buttons through which contaminants can pass. Some membrane keypads can even be combined with plastic and metal domes to produce a tactilely-enhanced keystroke experience.

There are three main elements to a membrane switch: the printed film electrical circuit board, the electrically insulating spacer and the top button layer, which usually features a graphic overlay. The circuit board is a thin polymer film on which a circuit pattern is printed with an electrically conductive silver-based ink. An adhesive spacer sheet is bonded to the circuit board and patterned with cutouts where electronic switches go. Tactile switches incorporate small metal domes made from nickel-plated stainless steel or other metals that are placed between the layers; when depressed sufficiently, the domes give way, which produces a sensation that confirms registry of the keystroke. A common deficiency of membrane switches is the difficulty of confirming keystrokes consistently. Tactile switches give users a confirmation of registry through the feeling of a dome being depressed, through an auditory signal or through a combination of the two. A polyester adhesive film secures these domes in place. Non-tactile switches make electrical connection through silver-based conductive ink printed on the back of the graphic overlay.

The graphic overlay, which is the visible surface of the membrane switch, can be made in many different ways. The graphic overlay is usually printed or embossed. It can involve acetate film patterned with buttons through photochemical processing, and it can be screen printed with appropriate colors and text. Depending on the device’s intended application, the overlay surface can be designed to varying specifications of corrosion and abrasion resistance, heat resistance and impact resistance. Different applications call for different qualities, and because there are so many different kinds of contexts in which membrane keypads and switches are applied, there are many configurations to choose from. Once an overlay choice is made, it is layered over the circuitry and insulating layers and either attached with fasteners or with adhesives. Membrane keypads perform very important tasks. In industrial contexts, membrane keypad performance can mean the difference between properly functioning equipment and malfunctioning or even dangerous equipment. In commercial contexts, particularly in the case of building security, membrane keypad combination locks can be the last line of defense for sensitive information or areas. For these reasons, each step of the membrane keypad manufacturing process must be performed in a low-contaminant environment to ensure peak performance for as long as possible. Clean rooms ( are often employed for the fabrication of complex membrane keypads.

Membrane switches are a fairly new technology. They have gained so much prominence so quickly because they are easier to fabricate and require fewer materials than mechanically operated keyboards and other kinds of more complicated and resource-intensive interface equipment. Because membrane switch manufacturing requires far fewer materials than push-button keyboards and keypads, it is a highly cost-effective process. Membrane switches are also more versatile than mechanical interface utilities, and if properly constructed and maintained, they can resist contamination by moisture and particulates. This increases the length and quality of their operating lifespans, reducing maintenance costs and the cost of continuing interface utilities investments. There are some ways in which membrane switches do not measure up to the performance of other interface utilities. Personal computing, for example, requires a utility that can register keystrokes without requiring too much of an exertion from their users. Membrane keypads and keyboards often fail to register light button depressions. Tactile switches, which manufacturers on IQS Directory manufacture, compensate for this deficiency to some extent, but not to the extent that would make them practical as permanent personal computing keyboards. That said, membrane switches can be used in far more applications than can mechanical switches and at a much lower cost.
Membrane Switches
Membrane Switches
Membrane Switches
Membrane Switches – Sytek Enterprises Inc.
Membrane Switches – Membrane Switch and Panel, Inc.
Membrane Switches – Membrane Switch and Panel, Inc.
Membrane Switches
Membrane Switches
Membrane Switches – Membrane Switch and Panel, Inc.
Membrane Switches – Membrane Switch and Panel, Inc.

Membrane Switch Types

  • Custom keypads and custom membrane switches are user-equipment interface utilities that are designed for use with specialized electronic devices.
  • Flexible circuits are electrical signal-bearing utilities that connect control systems with processing systems; they are characterized by their flexible construction as opposed to the rigid, often brittle construction of other circuitry varieties.
  • Graphic overlays are covers that are placed over control panels to indicate the location and function of buttons.
  • Keyboard switches are user-equipment interfaces that allow for the communication of commands between a user and an electronic device.
  • Membrane keyboards are flat surfaces with printed symbols and outlines rather than traditional moving keys.
  • Membrane keypads are flat surfaces, rather than moving keys, that are activated with the press of a finger.
  • Membrane switch panels ( are user-equipment interfaces that feature several control switches for the communication of commands from a user to an electronic device.
  • Metal domes supply the snap and complete the electrical circuit. The domes are from pressed stainless steel or aluminum and come in various shapes, sizes and thicknesses.
  • Non-tactile switches are membrane switches made without a snap action.
  • Polyester dome switches are produced by embossing domes into one of the polyester layers in the construction, which results in a very durable tactile element with a little more movement than metal domes. Manufacturers who do this diminish the quantity of layers in the assembly. 
  • Rubber keypads are user-equipment interface utilities that allow for the communication of commands between a user and an electronic device; they are characterized by their rubber keys as opposed to the plastic keys of other keypad varieties.
  • Tactile switches are assembled to supply a positive snap-action reaction to pressure. They can be attained through polyester domes made in either the graphic or circuit overlay layer or stainless steel domes embedded in the membrane switch.
  • Touch Screens are pressure-sensitive computer display screens that act as input devices.

Membrane Switch Terms

Abrasion Resistance – The degree to which a membrane switch is able to withstand surface wear.
Actuation – This is the action of working a switch apparatus.
Actuation Force – The pressure necessary for collapsing the walls of the dome on a polyester, rubber or metal keypad.
Adhesion – The molecular attraction of one material to another. The strength of the bond is determined by the surface energy in each material.
Backing/Rear Adhesive – An adhesive applied to the back of a membrane switch for mounting purposes.
Breakdown Voltage – The minimum voltage at which the insulation between two conductors is destroyed.
Carbon Graphite Inks – The type of ink that consists of prepared suspensions of carbon black and is frequently printed over silver circuitry to diminish the potential of migration of silver. These are used for lessening costs when the conductivity of a metal base system is not necessary.
Conductivity – A material’s ability to allow electrons to flow.
Cross-Over – A conductor intersection insulated by dielectric material.
Dead Front – A cosmetic feature of a graphic overlay in which a button is only visible when backlit.
Dielectric – An insulating or non-conducting medium.
Dielectric Inks – Used for printing protective patterns on conductive printing to isolate selected regions from electrical contact with other conductors. This is used for cross-overs and tail insulation on membrane switches.
Dome Retainer – An adhesive layer made to hold metal domes in the keyswitch.
El Lamp – A slender device that illuminates large areas, typically used in LCD membrane switch backlighting and control panels.
Embedded LED – Procedure of integrating a surface mount LED into a membrane switch assembly.
Emboss – A way to supply a raised characteristic to accentuate key surfaces through mechanical and thermoforming of graphical features. This also permits an embedding of a surface mount of an LED inside the switch.
Gloss Level – The extent of shininess of a substrate, commonly identified in percentages.
Graphic Keypad – Control keypads that use graphics for button functions for navigation on machines or process operations. Typical graphics include arrows or symbols indicative of a machine process or operation.
Internally Vented – Switch openings connected to one another to seal the switch from moisture and other contaminants.
Key Height – A measure of the distance from the highest point of a key to the base of the keypad.
Light Emitting Diode (LED) – Embedded in membrane switch layers to illuminate the button.
Moisture Resistance – A material’s ability to resist the absorption of water from the air or during complete submersion.
Overlay – The front layer of a membrane switch or control panel.
Over-Travel – The travel that is done by the rubber keyboard or metal dome after making contact with the circuit.
Pillow Emboss – Creating a raised surface in the graphic overlay over the membrane keypad area of membrane switches.
Pinout – The schematic that describes the circuit output requirements for membrane switches.
Pressure-Sensitive – Adhesive materials that bond after pressure without needing heat or solvents.
Rail Emboss – Produces a raised ridge circling the key area.
Screen Printing – Printing procedure that uses a stretch of mesh over a frame, permitting the use of a stencil to discriminately allow ink through. This is typically used for creating graphic overlays and membrane circuits.
Silver Inks – Finely-milled particles of silver suspended in various resin systems that produce conductive patterns on rigid and flexible substrates. This is a typical conductor material for membrane switches.
Spacer – A membrane switch adhesive layer that separates circuit layers to supply keyswitch openings, permitting the contact of conductors when depressed.

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