A Complete Guideline to Coating for Custom Silicone Keypads
Despite the many advantages of custom silicone keypads, they are prone to dust. Their high level of dust absorbing ability makes it a must for vital to have a protective coating on top. Moreover, the texture or the character design of the silicone keypad requires coating.
After all, these keypads are used for a range of application in numerous industries across the globe. Thanks to the increase in human-machine interaction, you would need more and more of these keypads. After all, they serve as a medium for the human to communicate with the machine.
So, their quality needs to be of top-notch quality, especially if you want the machine to perform well and the user to provide positive feedback for your product. For these reasons, robustness and quality of the keypads are among the top priority for any manufacturer. Their extensive use in both the industrial as well as consumer electronic products results in variety as well as durability.
These effective, yet cost-efficient solutions are part of hundreds of applications. They also come with the facility of withstanding harsh outdoor conditions, provided, you have the right coating. In this blog post, we are going to talk about different coating options to extend the life of the keypad.
After all, applications that are constantly exposed to hard environments would take a troll on the keypad without proper protection.
Different Coating Options for Custom Silicone Keypads
See the options below for coating.
The first in our list is the Polyurethane coating. It is a smooth, clear spray coating and is used on applications that are highly used. It is also abrasion-resistant. The common abrasion-resistant coating offers great results, especially when applied on a rubber keypad.
All industries use this amazing spray coating as it enhances the keypad image as well as make it robust. It increases the lifespan of the keypad, despite its extensive use. The reason it increases robustness is that it offers superior resistance to abrasion, corrosion, and chemical exposure.
If you are looking for a cost-effective solution for your product, we would recommend the polyurethane coating for your keypad. Additionally, it comes with the facility of adding more to the life of the artwork printed onto the keypad.
It can actually increase the lifespan of the keypad 4 times more, in comparison to the non-coated keypads. This result was generated by the Norman Abrasion testing.
Clear Matte Oil Coating
The clear matte oil coating is basically applying a matte oil onto the keypad surface. This type of coating has similar characteristics to that of the Polyurethane coating. So, when the manufacturer sprays the mate oil coating onto the silicone keypad, it gives it a matte finish.
The touch of the surface also becomes smoother. It is extremely inexpensive. The low-end appliances tend to use this type of coating.
Epoxy Key Top Coating for Custom Silicone Keypads
The Epoxy key top coating is exclusive for the silicone rubber keytops. It is an excellent clear protective coating. The coating is perfect to give a glossy appearance. What more is that manufacturers use it to give the keypad a hard-plastic type feel.
Epoxy coating yields outstanding results. It may cost a bit extra, however, it would offer 12 times more longevity in comparison to a non-coated custom silicone keypad.
This again is subjected to the Norman Abrasion Testing. The epoxy coating works well for keypads that will be receiving a higher number of daily actuations. They work well for industrial applications where you would use abrasive gloves to operate the keypad.
Plastic Keyboard Protector
You can use injection molding with a variety of materials such as the TPU, PC, and ABS to offer an additional layer of protection to the custom silicone keypads. You can even enjoy laser etching as well as screen printing on top of the plastic keyboard’s surface.
Nonetheless, you would have to ensure that these plastic button caps are equipped with either electronic membrane or the silicone rubber membrane. Doing this would help you achieve functional function. Something, which is imperative in a keypad.
Another way to improve the longevity of the artwork present on top of the silicone keypad is to coat it using Parylene. This basically is a vacuum deposited coating. It has the ability to increase the life of keypad ten times more when compared to the non-coated keypad.
The manufacturers apply this coating in the form of a gas. Due to this process, it is possible for the parylen polymers coating to penetrate into tight areas as well as the small crevices. Thus, ensuring the uniformity of the coating on different surfaces.
One concern with this type of coating is that there is a need for specialized equipment for the process. Therefore, it would be expensive in comparison to some of the other abrasion resistant coatings.
Metal Caps for Custom Silicone Keypads
You can use a number of materials including copper or aluminum for the metal cover keyboard. To mold these covers, you would be using either the CNC processing or the die-cutting process. Since they offer high-level protection as well as uses the latest technology, therefore, the cost would be high.
These are perhaps the most expensive coating available.
Engraved Key Top Legends
We understand that sometimes, you want more than the coating. You are looking for an alternative that would offer the same results but would look way better. In that is the case, we suggest using the engrave keytop legends technique for your custom silicone keypads.
It is the perfect alternative to coating. What really happens is that the legends are directly engraved into the silicone rubber top. Thus, ensuring the longevity of these characters. Therefore, it is an excellent solution for high use applications.
After all, the legends will not wear off despite being used frequently. Although, it offers longevity, but it does come with some demerits. For example, these keypads are prone to dust. There is a probability that the dust would be trapped in the keypad.
This would have an adverse effect on the lifespan of the keypad. Also, to change the legends, you would have to be extra. It would be a costly modification.
Custom Silicone Keypads Coating Advantages
All these coatings offer a number of benefits. Below, we have listed the common ones.
They add to the aesthetic sense of the keypad. You can give glossy finish or a matte look. In addition, it is possible to give the keypad a hard-plastic feel. The ability to add to the look of the keypad makes it extremely effective especially in workplaces.
The coating provides great protection against different weather conditions. Of course, some coating work well with moist whereas others against UV ray. Have a clear understanding of the environment in which the keypad needs to be operated. Then, finalize the coating type.
One of the major benefits of coating is that it makes the keypad resistant to moisture and dust. The lack of dust accumulation in the keyboard enhances its overall life span. Thus, making the keypads work well even in outdoor conditions.
The engraved keytop legend technique is an excellent way to improve the overall look of the keypad. After all, you are not coating the legends. On the contrary, they are being engraved into the silicone pads. Thus, offering more and ever longevity.
To improve the ruggedness and the longevity of the custom silicone keypads, you would have to use an appropriate abrasion-resistant coating. The good news is that the coatings are available in different types. You can choose the one that would suit your product requirement.
Each coating comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. So, in case, you need to choose with care. In case, you are seeking more information, you have come to the right place. We being on top of the game, would provide you with accurate information efficiently.
Reach out to us today, and let us guide you in the best possible way to choosing a top-notch coating for your silicone keypads.