Products

Glossary of Terms

Actuation Force – The maximum force measured prior to or including the point at which keypad contact closure is achieved.

 

Backlighting – A flexible layer within a membrane switches construction that illuminates select areas of the overlay, such as text or graphic symbols. Examples of backlighting methods are E.L. (electroluminescent) or fibre optic.

 

Circuit – Functioning component (sub layer) of a membrane switch. Typically made of a silver conductive ink printed on polyester. Also can be a flexible copper circuit, a PCB or polyester printed with other conductive materials.

 

Contact Bounce – (Make) Point at which specified resistance is achieved.

 

Dead Front – Printing translucent ink in an area so that the graphic is visible only when backlit.

 

Density – The degree to which light transmits through a colour or transparent window. The higher the density, the less light will be transmitted.

 

Dielectric Strength – The voltage that an insulating material can withstand before breakdown occurs, usually expressed as a voltage gradient (such as volts per mil.)

 

E.M.I. (also R.F.I) – Electromagnetic Interference (Radio Frequency Interference) Radiated energy from electrical devices, lightning and similar sources which interferes with the proper operation of electronic circuitry.

 

E.S.D.  Electrostatic Discharge – transfer of high potential electrical charge between objects by contact or through air.

 

Files – Information or documentation created electronically by computer.

 

Font – A set of characters having a unified design.

 

Gloss Level – The degree of shininess of a particular material, usually specified in percentages such as 75% gloss, 90% gloss, and so forth.

 

Halftone – Image made of a pattern of various size and shape dots (newspaper photograph) rather than continuous gray.

 

Image Setting – The process by which electronic files are transferred to film or paper directly from the computer (computer onto film technology.)

 

LED – Light Emitting Diode.

 

Membrane Switch – A momentary switching device in which at least one contact is made of a flexible substrate.

 

Moisture Resistance – Ability of a material to repel moisture either from air or when subjected to water.

 

Non Tactile Switch – A switch assembly that has a tactile ratio equal to zero.

 

Overlay – Top layer of a membrane switch (the graphic interface between device and user) generally made of polyester or polycarbonate.

 

Pad Emboss – A raised area on an overlay, which defines an entire graphic. (i.e., a full keypad of L.E.D. window.)

 

Proof – A paper simulation of what a screen printed overlay will look like, submitted to a customer for approval.

 

Polyester Dome – A keypad on a membrane that has been dome embossed on the overlay or top circuit layer to add tactile feedback when the switch is activated. The dome shape, which is usually formed by a hydro forming process, can vary in size and shape to achieve a desired "force" and "tactile feedback" of the keypad.

 

Prototype Tooling – Method of fabricating prototype components without using steel rule dies (hard tooling) allowing changes before production runs without expensive tooling charges.

 

Rail Emboss – A raised area on an overlay which defines the perimeter of a graphic. (i.e., perimeter of a keypad or a border.)

 

Schematic – A drawing showing electrical interconnections and functions of a specific circuit arrangement.

 

Screen Printing – Method of printing by forcing ink through a mesh selectively. This is done by closing parts of the mesh with a stencil.

 

Screen Tint – Area of image printed with dots so ink coverage is less than 100%, simulating shading or a lighter colour.

 

Selective Texture – A transparent velvet finish printed on specified areas on an overlay to accentuate design elements such as windows, keypads or graphics.

 

Shield – A layer of polyester material that is either laminated with aluminium or printed with conductive ink to protect a switch from E.S.D. or E.M.I. interference.

 

SMD – Surface Mount Device.

 

S.M.T – Surface Mount Technology.

 

Specified Resistance – Maximum allowable resistance measured between two terminations, whose internal switch contacts, when held closed, complete a circuit.

 

Sub Surface Printing – Imaging on the back (second surface) of an overlay so the printed graphic is protected from wear by the actual material.

 

Tactile Ratio – A measure of tactile response.

 

Tactile Response – A sudden collapse or snapback of a membrane switch prior to contact closure or after contact opening.

 

Tactile Switch – A switch assembly that provides a tactile ratio greater than zero. Tactile switches give the user immediate physical feedback that the switch has been activated. Tactile feedback on a membrane switch can be achieved by using a stainless steel dome or a polydome construction.

 

Termination – How a switch is connected to the device it activates.

 

Translucent – Partially transparent. Having the property of diffusing light.

 

Transparent – Having the property of transmitting light without appreciable scattering so that objects beneath are entirely visible.