What is Waterproof membrane keypad? Pros & Cons 2022

01 Mar, 2022

By hqt


Waterproof membrane keypad is very popular as controllers or regulators for various devices for a reason. Anyway, they very often mount on machines that work in really difficult conditions.Their operation may associate with dirt on the keyboard itself.

Waterproof membrane keypad

 It is to such special factors that membrane keyboards are resistant. Their structure makes them very resistant to climatic, chemical and mechanical factorsor various types of pollution.

 At the same time, it allows you to create many versions of such keyboards. This differ in the pitch of the keys can have flat buttons, with contact plates, embossed, and even with perceptible descriptions or graphics. In addition, membrane keyboards are relatively cheap, which also has a significant impact on their popularity.


The operation of the waterproof membrane keypad is actually the same as that of a mechanical keyboard, i.e. a specific key cause’s mechanical contact of the foil layers with the printed electrical circuit and its so-call galvanic short circuit at the point of contact.

However, the foils on which it is applied differ. The facades print on polyester or polycarbonate foils, while the contacts – on polyester foils.

The fact that in the case of elevations it comes from the bottom of the foil has a large impact on the durability of the print. It means that the ink does not rub off during normal keyboard operation. As for the electrical circuit paths, these print with a special varnish that conducts electricity.

WINDOWS ON waterproof membrane keypad

As well as, the name suggests, primarily contain buttons.This allows you to enter appropriate settings or change the parameters of the device they operate. However, very often their role plays by various types of LED or LCD displays.

 For this reason, such keyboards also have special windows, thanks to which the display and what appears on it is visible to the person operating the keyboard.

What are these windows characterized by?

Waterproof membrane keypad 2022

 First of all, they have to do two things. The first is good visibility of what comes on the display. Of course, the use of foil as the aforementioned keyboard facade makes it possible. However, such windows can be matte neutral, translucent white or have multi-color masking filters. .

 In addition, they increase the contrast; facilitate the visual composition of the sticker. It is also less sensitive to the distance of the filter, i.e. the sticker from the display, which does not reduce the contrast. However, the windows can also be in red, blue or black with a different light transmission coefficient.

The second important thing about windows is that they supposed to protect the display, for example against moisture or various contaminants. However, they also provide additional protection for the display against mechanical damage.

 In this regard, so-called laminated windows are common.

What does it mean?

 A special reinforcing plate comes of polycarbonate or other transparent material glues to the underside of the window. This ensures that the display won’t damage, even if the window is subjected to high pressure.

Waterproof membrane keypad has a system consisting of several layers of foil, on which electrical circuits “print”. Its most important element is the base foil on which the contact pads print.

The other elements are assembly phials, the purpose of which is to merge the system with each other, and thin metal elements.This determines the effect of clicking when pressing a key. Pressing the button causes the foil layers to touch each other and an electrical impulse triggers in the place of the button.

According to a specialist – it also offers graphic overlays for membrane keyboards. These keyboards owe their popularity to resistance to external factors, as well as to functionality and aesthetics.


Waterproof membrane keypad are common in practically every industry, e.g. in the defense industry, medical, such as regulators and controllers. Their uses in these industries make them more resistant to scratches, mechanical damage, water and dust. They also have a large temperature range in which they can be common, from -40 to +70 degrees Celsius.


Waterproof membrane keypad has advantages such as quick reactivity as the electrical systems directly stimulate, but also durability, thin design and low price. They also have great design possibilities and adaptation to various surfaces and shapes.

So, they allow you to develop a large working area of devices. This means that they are common in an increasing number of industries where fast response time and precision are important.

Membrane keyboards are one of the most common forms of user interface in industrial sector. It is measuring, household appliances and electronics, as well as many other branches of electronics.

Waterproof membrane keypad has Simple implementation, excellent resistance to environmental conditions and the possibility. Eventually, it comes most any shape of the graphic form make keyboards of this type perfect even in new designs – despite the constantly growing popularity of touch screens.

In our article, we look at the structure and methods of connecting foil keyboards. We will also pay attention to the difference between a membrane keyboard and a mechanical one.

How is a membrane keyboard built and how does it work?

The principle of operation of the waterproof membrane keypad bases on shortening the conductive paths under the pressure of the user’s finger, usually print on a special foil. Closing can take place either by direct contact of two paths; locate close to each other on two membranes separates by a perforated partition.

Importantly, all elements of the classic membrane keyboard permanently connect with each other in the lamination process, i.e.  Both films with paths and perforated spacers, films covering the whole thing (equip with a graphic print). The keyboard comes with an adhesive layer.

Thanks to this procedure, the ready-made keyboard is one element, resistant not only to moisture, dust and temperature, but also to mechanical damage.

Membrane and mechanical keyboard – similarities and differences

The waterproof membrane keypad is a kind of “variation on the mechanical keyboard”. The general principle of operation, consisting in the mechanical shortening of two contacts close to each other, retain in both cases. There are several significant differences between the above-mentioned. There are varieties of keyboards.


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