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Tactile Switches

These are small sized switches usually placed onto Printed Circuit Boards and are used to close an electrical circuit when the button is pressed by a person.  When the button is pressed, the switches turn ON and when the button is released the switches turn OFF.

A Tactile switch is a switch whose operation is perceptible by touch.  The switches have a gf rating which relates to the amount of pressure required to operate the switch; the higher the number, the greater the pressure required to activate the switch.  This pressure action of the button lets the user feel the response of the operation from the switch.

There are two types of Tactile Switches, standard and sealed. They are then sub-categorised into printed circuit board through hole or printed circuit board surface mount types, depending on how you wish to mount the switch on the board.  Other variations include small sized and low-profile types, long and medium stroke types and tape and reel options for easier production techniques.

The standard Tactile Switch consists of four components:

  1.  The cover is utilised along with the base to protect the internal mechanisms of the switch.
  2.  The plunger relays force of the person pressing the switch to the contact dome.
  3. The contact dome is a circular part made of metal, it reverses when the force from the plunger is applied, this allows the current to flow between the contacts to turn the switch on, when released the dome returns to its original position and the switch turns off.
  4. The base is made of resin and contains the contacts and terminals, to which all other components of the switch are attached.

Applications:
Tactile Switches are ideal for enabling designers to add functionality to their products / applications:

  • Automotive (air bags, heating controls, door handles and column switches)
  • Aerospace (mail cable lights, flight attendant buttons)
  • Consumer (mobile phones, headsets, remote controls, wearable electronics)
  • Medical (hearing aids, portable equipment, heath diagnostics)
  • Industrial (control panels, instrumentation, power supplies)
  • Telecom (network equipment)
  • Handheld Applications (power and selection switches, volume control, key fobs)

For more information, please view our range.  You can download data sheets from the product pages and contact us by using the product enquiry form.  Alternatively, you can call us on 01258 456360 to request a sample and quotation.