Silicone Rubber Keypads - Applications

Diamond HMI have supported many designs from the UK and Europe which have utilised a Silicone Rubber Keypad on its own, combined with Plastic Key Caps or in CombiKey technology. To get further details on creating your own keypad, please consult our Rubber Keypad Design Guide.

Plastic & Rubber Keypad for Education Market.

Plastic and Rubber Keypad for education productIn this example the OEM customer wanted to replace a simple numeric pad in a hand held instrument with a QWERTY style keypad whilst maintaining similar dimensions and useability.

Due to space contraints we were unable to use rubber keypad technology alone. A solution was created using a combination of a Silicone Rubber mid layer to create the key travel, Plastic Keytops were mounted on the Rubber Mat to create the Switch Cap itself and a Mylar Dome Layer added the tactile response and the electronic switching characteristics. A plastic former was also added to maintain the spacing between the switch caps.

Working pre production prototypes were produced in 12 weeks and full production commenced 3 months later after extensive laboratory life testing at our factory. In addition this project required support for the subcontract manufacturer who was based in the Far East. Diamond HMI's own local staff managed all commercial and logistics elements to support the manufacturing locations.

Further additions to this project included multiple language versions and colour options for other markets. All these were easy to solve and were in production within 8 weeks. 

COMBIKEY Keypad for Industrial Process Control application.

Combikey Keypad for Industrial control equipmentThe OEM customer had always used Membrane Keyboards for their Process Control applications but were looking to create a more innovative solution which would have greater market impact when the product was launched. One field issue that we had to address was the lack of tactile response for operatives when operating Membrane Keypads with gloved hands.

After initial design meeting it was clear that COMBIKEY technology would be the ideal solution for this application. Using a moulded Silicone Rubber front layer designed to match both the case shape and their corporate colours we then added a Membrane Switching Layer with High Actuation Force Metal Domes. The final assembled Keypads adhered to the customer case using a suitable 3M Adhesive and connected to the electronics using the membrane tail.

The final design provided the user feedback required and was truely innovative in the customers market with the concept being adopted in their other worldwide locations.   


Silicone Rubber Keypad for Power Wheelchair application.

Silicone rubber keypad for Power WheelchairThe customer wanted to replace mechanical switches with a more aethetically pleasing solution which needed to form part of the controller design. The final Keypad Design helped to create the shape of the controller and fitted, using adhesive, into a recess in the plastic case.

The additional customer requirement was to meet very strict force and travel guidelines which , from their experience, suited their customer best. The criteria was for longer travel and lower tactile response whilst maintaining a long life expectancy. Our designer experimented with a number of web designs and shore hardnesses of rubber before undertaking extended lab testing to prove operating life.

As the project has developed further variants have been produced to accomodate different user profiles and markets. 

Silicone Rubber Keypad for Wireless Vehicle control system for Mobility applications

Silicone rubber keypad for mobility applicationThe customer is the Mobility's larget supplier fo secondary remote control systems was looking for a suite of Silicone Rubber keypads based on a set overall size to fit their outer casing design. Each of their applications required a different number of keys to access the products full range of functions. 

The customer chose a metalic finish which gives a high qulaity look to the parts and we also used laser etching to create icons which could be subtlely lit via LED's placed on the switching PCB.







CombiKey Keypad for Digital Pocket Manometer

Silicone rubber keypad for Hand held instrumentWhen designing a keypad suitable for a Hand Held device the key feedback is vital to ensurring that the product is useable in the field. 

After discussion the customer specified a CombiKey keypad with very prominant individually shaped keys. This gave excellent user feedback when combined with a metal dome within the circuitry layer bonded to the silicone front layer.

The keypad locates simply into a recess in the instrument casing and is connected to the electronics by a flexible tail. The unbroken adhesive layer gives the high degree of sealing against moisture ingress

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