PCB+ Membrane Switch

WHAT ARE PCB+ MEMBRANE SWITCHES?

PCB membrane switches combine all membrane switch technologies in one device. A PCB membrane switch can be a support panel for the membrane overlay or supply the electrical pathways. PCB stands for “printed circuit board” and is typically made of copper clad cloth or fiber material infused a resin material.

FR-4 is by far the most common material used today. The board with copper on it is called "copper-clad laminate.” The cloth or fiber material used, resin material, and the cloth-to-resin ratio determines the laminate's type designation (FR-4, CEM-1, G-10, etc.) and as a result, the characteristics of the laminate are produced. An acid resistant mask is screen printed on the copper clad and the exposed sections are etched away using acid.

The exposed copper pathways are plated with various metals to protect the copper from corrosion. Gold plating is required on many PCBs in critical applications, such as air bag switches for the automotive industry.