Environmental Considerations

What to Consider

Durability

Membrane switches need to be reliable for years, all the while being used on a daily or even hourly basis. This requires active and purposeful design for lifetime actuation.

The balance between visual and tactile qualities and the need for ongoing durability can be a significant challenge, particularly when paired with ever-present budgetary constraints. By working with experienced membrane switch designers and manufacturers, engineers can leverage this supply chain expertise to optimize components to address this requirement.

Materials Section

Because of their many applications, membrane switches need to withstand a range of environments. Dirt and grime, moisture, and chemical cleaners can all take their toll.

By using polyester materials for the top layer graphic overlay, you can maximize environmental durability and chemical resistance. However, polyester’s dimensional stability also makes it difficult to form, so visual embellishments like raised buttons and embossing can be difficult to execute.

Polycarbonate is easier to work with, but it is not as durable as polyester, so instead many manufacturers are opting for blended materials. These combinations of polyester and polycarbonate can help engineers address visual and environmental requirements across a range of dimensions.

Weather Sealing

Depending on the application, membrane switches can be exposed to a range of adverse weather conditions. In these situations, the ability to seal and protect internal components from moisture becomes critical.

A variety of construction options are available (3M HV tapes, custom-designed solid gaskets, etc.) that allow engineers to design interface assemblies that meet a range of different environmental standards. For instance, membrane switches can be developed to meet IP sealing standards, to handle submersion testing applications, or to support NEMA closure requirements.

Sign up for tips from our interface guru, Ken Boss.

Fill out this short form and we’ll send occasional and useful interface tips directly to your inbox.

"Very pleased with your team's response to our need during the COVID-19 crisis."
Lisa L., Medical Device
"JN White has been exceptional in working with our company in order to develop the look and feel of our new MRI patient worn transmitter. We had originally worked with a prior manufacturer for an earlier version of this product with much less desirable results. JN White delivered a clean professional product at a very reasonable price on time!"
Gary P., Medical
"We had very little information to work with and Jessica James made it nearly effortless on our end to get us exactly what we needed in a timely manner."
Lexi W., Industrial Equipment
"Getting any after-market graphic overlays done always has a certain risk factor in getting it all right. You guys were helpful, patient, & knowledgeable to achieve the best end result. Even pointing out some things that might be [an] oversight or [areas for] improvements. The outcome was perfect."
John S., Technology
"The print task was between the USA and Australia and everything went so smooth. I submitted a drawing, got a return email for me to confirm what I wanted. Even though this was over the Christmas period the print was waiting for me when I got back to work after the holidays. Great job and thanks."
Matt C., Military
"All of the folks there at JN White that I have talked to and dealt with have been very nice and professional."
Vern L., Industrial
"Customer service is wonderful. Receive confirmations and responses in a timely manner. Product has great quality."
Sara H., Medical
"It has been a pleasure working with JN White. We switched suppliers for some of our products to your company and you have given us higher quality. Excellent work!"
Roger W., Education
"I feel confident that JN White will do my order correctly."
Marie P., Government
"I found working with Sara to be a pleasant experience. We were trying to dial in the color to get just the right look on the printed substrate...Sara sent us a sample print sheet that had several variations, up and down, from the colors we specified, which allowed me to pick exactly the color we wanted. The end result product is perfect!"
Don M., Safety
"Our department has used JN White for a number of years for our inspection labels. They always respond very quickly when we contact them to place an order and communication is great with any questions we have. Highly recommend them."
Jim R., Government
"Easy process and great people to work with."
Richard Z., Military
"I'm very satisfied with your service. Always looking forward to bring the best!"
Ramses Z., Medical Devices
"JN White is very responsive to their customers. Product is delivered as expected...and they provide quality products. They have a clear understanding of the obstacles facing US based customers regarding the entire supply chain."
Bob M., Point of Sale
"We always deal with Steve Matacz. He is the best at making sure all details are perfect. Timely communication with any questions we have."
Paul A., Recreational
"Customer response time is one of the best; always prompt and helpful. On-time performance the last 12 months is 100%."
RoseMarie C., Utilities
"Customer service, quality and lead time are great! No complaints."
Sara H., Medical Devices

JN White is an ISO 9001:2015 and ITAR-certified manufacturer of membrane switches, graphic overlays, and custom labels. All of our products are Made In The U.S.A. We specialize in the design and manufacture of complex graphic overlays, complex membrane switch keyboards, assembly and membrane switch testing. Our supporting products and services include: rapid prototyping; electronic shielding (ESD); backlighting (including addressable LEDs); design & development; vendor managed inventory (VMI); and medical device, UDI and UL label constructions. JN White works with global brands in the aerospace, medical device, medical instruments, industrial electronics, consumer appliance and defense (or military/DoD) industries. Made in America. Made in the U.S.