design options

Reliaswitch® custom membrane switches are created with Double-Sided Polymer Circuitry (D/SPC®) for superior durability in harsh environments. With over 25 years of custom design and manufacturing experience, Reliatrace® not only offers you the most reliable technology on the market, we also have deep industry knowledge you won’t find with any other printed electronics supplier.

Ideal for high-performance applications with user interfaces exposed to dust, moisture, extreme hot or cold temperatures and harsh cleaning solutions, Reliaswitch can be designed for a wide range of challenging needs.


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Physical Characteristics

  • Life Cycles: 5 million cycles, metal dome

  • Actuation Force: 3 - 25 oz typical tactile

  • Overall Thickness: 0.017” to 0.062” typical

Environmental Characteristics

  • Operating Temperature: -45⁰C to 100⁰C

  • Storage Temperature: -55⁰C to 100⁰C

  • Humidity: 95% RH

Electrical Characteristics

  • Contact Resistance

    • Tactile on Silver: 13 Ohms or less, based on application

    • Non-Tactile on Carbon: 25 Ohms - 50 Ohms, based on application

  • Open Circuit Resistance: greater than 2 MOhms

  • Contact Rating: 50 VDC maximum, 100 mA maximum, 1 Watt maximum

  • Contact Bounce: 0.3ms to 0.6ms

  • Contact Material: Stainless steel to silver or carbon, based on application

Depending on the materials, construction and circuitry of your custom Reliaswitch® membrane switch, specifications may vary.

Why We’re Different — Reliaswitch’s Double-Sided Circuitry Construction

In the design of your custom membrane switch, most single-sided suppliers will guide you to focus on the visible elements of your design first, such as the graphic overlay. At Reliatrace, we take a different approach. Knowing reliability is what matters most to engineers of high-performance applications, we start your design discussion at the most critical element — the circuitry.

The unique double-sided construction of Reliaswitch provides engineers with a wide variety of design options that simply aren’t possible in single-sided circuitry. With silver traces printed on both the top and bottom of the flexible substrate, engineers gain twice the design capabilities and vastly increase their circuit reliability. Even better, D/SPC doesn’t require additional space — Reliaswitch can use the same footprint as your single-sided design. At Reliatrace, we like to call this, “being able to fit 10 lbs. of potatoes into a 5 lb. bag”.

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What are some of the challenging design requirements you can meet with Reliaswitch? High-density keypad positions, exceptional water resistance and a thin profile are just a few examples. Powered by D/SPC, Reliaswitch can be custom designed from a wide range of options to uniquely meet the needs of your high-performance application.

Our Reliaswitch Design Guide outlines some of the key criteria our engineering team will expertly guide you through when creating your custom membrane switch, including:

Standard Membrane Switch Design Options

  • Type: available as either tactile or non-tactile

    • Domes (tactile): available as stainless steel or polyester

    • Actuation Force (tactile): any force available; typical range from 3 to 25 oz.

  • Materials: custom-tailored to meet your budgetary and quality requirements:

    • Substrates: Polyester thick film recommended

    • Inks: several high-quality options available:

      • Silver and carbon ink for conductive traces

      • UV-curable dielectric ink for circuitry protection / insulation

    • Pressure-Sensitive Adhesives (PSAs): wide variety of options available using 3M™’s industry-leading technologies

  • Graphic Overlay: digitally-printed in Class 100,00 clean room with multiple options available:

    • Substrates: polyester recommended, but any commercially available substrate permissible

    • Hard coatings: textured (non-glossy) — matte or velvet, glossy or UV

    • Silicone rubber keypads: available

  • Embossing: rim, pillow, LED/Bulb and hydro forming alternatives available

  • Interconnect: most standard connectors and housings available

  • Mechanical Tolerances: standard, using steel-rule dies, with hard tooling and laser cutting available for applications requiring tighter tolerances

D/SPC Membrane Switch Design Options

  • Electrical Layout: design as a Common Bus or Matrix Layout with enhanced capabilities over single-sided circuits, including:

    • Denser packaging

    • Smaller circuitry footprints

    • Safer alternatives to cross-over circuitry and dual-circuit/tail layers

  • Tail Exit: leverage our single-tail design to eliminate the risk of tail fracture

  • Windows (LED or other display): route tail traces around the window without the use of cross-over circuitry or a dual-tail design

  • Surface-Mount Technology (SMT): employ a higher number of SMT components (e.g., LEDs or resistors), without increasing your circuitry footprint

  • LED / Backlighting: add LED backlighting without resorting to a dual-tail/circuit design

  • Gasketing: add watertight protection against moisture, dirt and corrosion with gasketing features compliant with NEMA 4X / IP66 standards

  • Shielding: enable a wider outer perimeter between traces and switch edges, and add carbon or silver shielding for extra protection against ESD and RFI

Ready to make your membrane switch more reliable? Check out our Design Guide or request time to speak with an industry expert.

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