Metal Tactile Domes for Membrane Switches

We use metal, tactile domes in our flex circuits and membrane switches. Tactile domes are placed onto the Polyester/Polycarbonate substrate with pressure sensitive adhesive tape (Peel-N-Place Array) or captured in a membrane-type pocket design.

membrane circuit with tactile metal dome switches

Metal Touch switches are pressure activated, which prevents accidental actuation by environmental factors and are effective with gloves and styluses.

Capacitive switches (i.e., touch screens), by comparison, are non-mechanical. They don’t complete a circuit like tactile switches.

Snap metal domes have been developed for use in membrane switch and mechanical switch assemblies. The domes we use are either stainless steel or nickel.

Dome Application

Placing domes on a membrane circuit can be done in different ways:

  1. Domes are removed from the container and separated out onto a flat surface by hand. Care is taken to ensure there is only 1 dome by itself and not two domes together. Then the domes are placed by hand using tweezers or a similar tool.
  2. Domes can be placed by a pen which greatly speeds up the process. An operator uses the pen to separate the domes and to place them onto the circuit.
  3. Domes can be placed by a machine that can do up to 10,000 per hour. This would require an expensive investment.
  4. Domes can be pre-loaded into polyester dome carriers backed with pressure sensitive adhesive. Arrays come loaded with the domes of your choice cut to the size and shape you specify. These are sometimes called Peel-N-Place domes.

At Almax-RP we use a placement pen to quickly withdraw domes from their original container and place them upon the flex circuits.

Benefits of Metal Domes

Metal domes have excellent tactile response and a long lasting mechanical life. They are slim design & light-weight. They have short actuation distances. They work in high operating temperatures of up to 85°C.