Our membrane switch flex circuit designs primarily include Polymer Thick Film (PTF) “membrane switches” such as graphic overlays, touch pads and key pads. Membrane switches function as a normally open, momentary contact, low-voltage pressure-sensitive circuit. The design of a membrane switch starts with a polyester layer. Through a screen printing process, conductive patterns are deposited onto the polyester layer. Then a dielectric insulator is added to insulate the conductive patterns and leave openings where the conductive ink should remain for electrical contact.
When pressure is applied to the top layer of the membrane switch circuit, it flexes through the punched openings of the spacer to establish electrical contact between conductive pads of the upper and lower sheets, momentarily closing the membrane switch circuit. When pressure is released from the top layer, the membrane switch circuit springs back to its normal open position.
We will take on any membrane switch design challenge involving graphic overlays and flex circuits because we are leaders in technology & process development of membrane switches and flex circuits. We will find a solution within our broad range of capabilities, including circuit design, engineering, manufacturing, die-cutting and surface mount technology. We take pride in tackling the toughest design challenges related to PTF flex circuits.
Custom variations include: Single Layer, Two Layer, and Four Layer "Stack Up" Membrane Switches.LED's can be added.
In addition to the general benefits described in flexible printed circuits, there are some unique benefits to polymer thick film circuits. They are as follows:
Environmentally Friendly – Utilizing additive printing of silver & carbon, the process of making polymer thick film circuits does not generate hazardous gases.
Cost Effective – Polyester is the most common substrate utilized in the PTF production process. As such, PTF circuits are generally cheaper to manufacture than other flex circuits.
Ease of Manufacture – Due to the simple screen printing process, membrane switches are very easily manufactured.
Cosmetic Appeal – Due to their streamlined design and the numerous graphic overlay options, polymer thick film circuits are cosmetically appealing.
Design Flexibility – As with all flexible circuits, design options are limitless.
In summary, if you have membrane switch design needs, Flexible Circuit Technologies can help.
Membrane switch circuit production utilizes high speed screen printing techniques which result in high speed production and high yield throughout. Finally, the circuit is sent thru a process where the conductor needed is left unharmed. Two different types of membrane switches can be utilized with PTF circuits: graphic overlay and key pads. Some applications of PTF circuits are as follows:
Key Pad Switches:
- Remote controls
- Electronic games