Finding the proper membrane switch for your device isn’t always easy. It’s crucial you take the necessary time to evaluate your product needs. There are many factors to consider from what materials to use, the conditions the switch will be exposed to, what price you’re willing to pay and more.
When applying your membrane switch to your product, here are three key steps to remember.
Step #1: Handling/Testing
An important step that many times gets overlooked, you will want to test your membrane switch before starting installation. While handling your membrane switch remember never to press a switch button unless it’s lying flat on a solid surface. Do not bend the switch and make sure to use anti-static wristbands to protect sensitive components from (ESD) electrostatic discharge. We recommend you test all tactile and non-tactile responses of the membrane switch prior to installing it.
Step #2: Mounting Surface
After testing to make sure your switch functions correctly, check the surface you’re mounting the membrane switch against. This surface should be clean and smooth. It must not have rough texture, residue (from adhesive, paint, etc.), burrs, bumps, steps, or hardware protrusions.
Step #3: Installation
During installation, you will want to keep the membrane switch as flat as possible. If the part is bent, it may cause damage to the domes. Starting at one end, fold back a small strip (approximately 1/2 inch wide) of the release liner from the edge. Align the part and stick down the free end, and then remove the rest of the liner. Smooth the part down with a light, slow stroke, working from the starting edge toward the opposite end to prevent air bubbles. Avoid applying extreme pressure or rolling the part down as you’re working across. After the part is on your mounting surface, use a firm but smooth rubbing motion over the entire surface to complete the bonding of the pressure sensitive adhesive. Never use a roller to apply pressure.
If the membrane switch has a tail, never bend or pull back the tail to the point where it causes creasing, as this may cause the switch to function intermittently or fail completely.
For Wilson-Hurd’s complete guidelines on handling a membrane switch click on the link provided: Guidelines for Handling a Membrane Switch.
If you would like to learn more about Wilson Hurd’s Electronic Control Products division, please visit our website at http://www.wilsonhurd.com. You may also request a quote or sample, as well as download a free brochure detailing more information about Wilson-Hurd’s capabilities.