Keypad Design Features

Our creative approach to keypad design.

People like the tactile qualities that come with silicone rubber keypads. This, along with other unique properties, often makes this type of interface a sound choice when designing new products.

Our ongoing commitment to high quality products, service and advice means that we listen to and understand your product design goals.

How Interface Controls can work with you to achieve a creative silicone rubber keypad solution:
Full silicone rubber keypad design

We look after your entire design project

Design team support
  • We cooperate with your designers
Prototype test tooling
  • Low cost, fast turnaround, production quality samples
Production tooling
  • Multi-cavity, high quality steel moulding
From concept through to manufacture - our keypad design process
Silicone Rubber Keypads Geometric Features

Elastomeric material properties allow a host of geometric possibilities for the design of silicone rubber keypads.

From single-key to multi-key Key shapes and sizes, keymat profile and mechanical and operational features are carefully customised to exact specifications. A range of operating forces and key travel distances can be selected to provide the desired tactile feedback.

Rubber hardness can be varied across the keypad. Insert-moulded keytops are available in Shore values of 40% – 90%, producing a hard, resilient keytop.

Some applications involve the combination of a silicone rubber keypad with a mylar polydome or similar metal-dome array affixed. This device is suitable for electrical conductive or non-conductive mechanical switching and enhances the mechanical ‘snap’ feel of key operation.

Silicone Rubber Keypads Colour Options

A broad palette of colour options are available to match distinct product or corporate branding. Our silicone rubber keypads are manufactured using material precisely mixed using Pantone colour references.

Silicone Rubber Keypads can be moulded in a single-colour, or be constructed as a multi-colour design. Contrasting colours blend on the keymat base, being concealed when assembled behind a bezel or facia.

Translucent material in a range of colours can form the entire keypad allowing back-lighting of the entire keypad. Translucent parts can also be incorporated as illuminated areas, or inserted as light guides.

Spray coating finishes expand the colour options available – see Finish.

Examples of Silicone Rubber Keypads Design Options: Colour

Silicone Rubber Keypads Printing Options

Silkscreen printing is the preferred method for producing high-quality durable legends and characters on our silicone rubber keypads.

As with the silicone rubber material, Pantone references are used to achieve exact colour specifications, and keytops can be printed with single-colour or multi-colours.

Standard set or special characters and legends may be incorporated into the keypad design, and reverse/inverse printing is also an option.

Printing tolerance on keytops is +/- 0.3mm.

When printing full keytop area allow 0.5mm at the edges for printing tolerance.

Examples of Silicone Rubber Keypads Design Options: Printing

Silicone Rubber Keypads Finish Options

Various finishing processes and choices offer further features for custom designed silicone rubber keypads.

Spray coating with PU lacquer provides an extra layer for protecting keytops legends.

A coating can produce a glossy or matt finish to the keypad and increase durability.

Ultra-Violet protection is available where conditions demand specific prevention of fading or atrophy due to prolonged exposure to sun-light.

Epoxy potting of the keytop surface creates a hard coating, with a plastic-like touch. This is an inexpensive method of including a hard-wearing, high quality, glossy finish. A soft epoxy is also available.

Laser etching is particularly suitable for keypad applications using back-lighting. Different colour coatings are laser etched to reveal legends and characters.  This technique also allows multi-coloured areas to be exposed and lit.

Examples of Silicone Rubber Keypads Design Options: Finish

Silicone Rubber Keypads Electrical Options

Many applications incorporate silicone rubber keypads as a primary or secondary switching layer, relying on key depression points to provide sound electrical contact.

In many cases the Silicone Rubber Keypad is designed to fit as part of a PCB assembly, with the contact electrodes being configured on the circuit board.

Conductive pills, using materials such as carbon or gold, offer low resistance contact points – less than 150 ohms. Pill sizes range from 2mm to 10mm in 0.5mm increments.

Conductive printing provides an alternative for larger, or shaped contact points. This technique is particularly useful when LED illumination is being applied through keys.

When combining keypads with polydome arrays, or similar devices, the contacts points are normally printed with silver or carbon.

PCB contact electrodes are normally configured with a finger design ensuring positive contact is still made when key depression is uneven.

Examples of Silicone Rubber Keypads Design Options: Electrical

Design Sample Keypad for Evaluation

FREE Desktop Design Sample

Our handy desktop design sample is great to use when looking at options for your

silicone rubber keypads.

Fill out the request form and we’ll send one to you without obligation and free of charge. ​