Why Use Silicone Rubber Buttons in Your Electronic Design

Silicone is made of artificially produced polymers made of silicon, hydrogen, carbon and oxygen. Their generic chemical formula is [R2SiO]. Depending on the silicone type, R could be either ethyl or phenyl or methyl group of organic molecules. [SiO] is a long strain of inorganic silicon and oxygen molecules chemically bonded together.

Physical properties of silicones depend on the lengths and spatial positions of their [SiO] strains. These positions and lengths change when silicones enter chemical reactions with several chemical compounds, which leads to changes in silicone physical properties.

Silicones used in production of Silicone Keypads possess a wide array of outstanding qualities. These qualities are:

· Thermal stability under the temperatures ranging from -1000C to 2500C

· Resistance to harmful bacteria

· Chemical inertness

· Non-toxicity

· Ability to serve as electrical insulator

· Resistance to ozone, oxygen and UV light (ultraviolet light)

· Noncorrosive

· Eco-friendliness

· Being non-sticky

· Being waterproof

Advantages of using silicone buttons in electronic products

Silicone buttons are used in wide variety of electronic products including medical devices, calculators, remote controls, industrial keypads, PLCs (programmable logic controllers) and building construction equipment.

In general, silicone keypads in conjunction with carbon contact pills are used to activate and deactivate electric circuits (a contact pill is molded on the back of a silicone rubber button). When a silicone rubber keypad is pressed, its position changes so that a carbon contact pill completes electric circuit thus allowing the electric current to flow. Compared with the other methods of circuit activation, this one is the most cost effective and reliable because it does not employ mechanical switches known for their short lifespan and high production cost.

Certain types of electric equipment operate below freezing point. The buttons that are used to activate them are made out of silicone rubber because this material has the ability to withstand very low temperatures.

Because silicone is resistant to the ultraviolet light, silicone rubber buttons are used in UV light medical devices.

Child toys should not become sources of dangerous toxins that could harm the child’s health. Because of the silicone’s non-toxicity, child toys equipped with silicone rubber buttons pose no danger to their owners.

Silicone is a non-sticky material, which makes silicone rubber buttons very convenient and pleasant to use.

Low production cost of the silicone rubber buttons and their subsequent low wholesale price provides an excellent opportunity to save money for the manufacturing companies that order them from the suppliers.

Customization of rubber buttons.

Following processes are used to manufacture silicone rubber products: vulcanization, also known as compression molding, and injection molding.

During the vulcanization silicone enters chemical reactions with either sulfurs or peroxidesor urethane crosslinkers or metallic oxides or dueces or acetoxysilanes. The goal of the process is to force silicone rubber to take the shape of a mold.

In the beginning of the injection molding process silicone matter is placed into a barrel which is heated above the silicone melting temperature. After that high apparatus pressure is used to pour melted silicone into a cold mold. Liquid silicone takes the shape of a mould and slowly hardens while its temperature drops to the room temperature level.

The variations in the mould designs are practically limitless, which makes possible to have end products of any sizes and shapes. As far as rubber buttons are concerned, a single mould could be used to produce several types of buttons of arbitrary shapes.

Both compression molding and silicone molding are possible because of the presence of multiple cavities in a mould. When liquid silicone rubber is poured into a cavity, it takes the shape of a cavity. A cavity could be of partitioned to make smaller versions of a product. For example, 32 button cavity mould will simultaneously produce 32 silicone keypads. Such mass production of silicone buttons is the main reason why their unit production cost is very low.

Post time: 05-23-2017