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Archive for February, 2010

Why Does Si Tech Prefer Silicone Keypads?

February 22nd, 2010

It’s obvious from our name that we are big fans of silicone over other keypad materials. Many of our customers ask us why we specialize in custom silicone keypads and we could name a dozen reasons but here are three of the top benefits of silicone.

Durability

There are less expensive materials that could be used in keypads but our custom silicone keypads will outlast any of them. Silicone can tolerate huge temperature ranges without any change to its strength or elasticity. Some of our mixtures have been tested at temperatures ranging from -150 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit without any ill effects.

Silicone is highly resistant to compounds such as detergents, acids and oils that would spell the death of other materials. Silicone is naturally chemically resistant but for extreme conditions we can add our proprietary Si Coat II chemical coating to give our custom silicone keypads even more resistance to corrosion or other chemical reaction. Silicone is also a great choice for equipment that will see outdoor use since it is UV and water-resistant.

Fire Resistant

Manufacturers should always consider how fire would affect their products. Fire can happen at any time and is even more likely with certain types of electronic equipment. Silicone has natural fire resistant properties, so is a popular choice for safe components. We have silicone mixtures that can meet Underwriters Laboratories ratings from UL 94 HB to UL 94V-0. Let us know what your needs are and we will formulate a solution.

However the largest danger in a fire is not the flame. It’s the smoke. Our custom silicone keypads do not give off toxic chemicals when exposed to fire. The same cannot be said for many plastics or other materials that can give off dangerous chemicals that can quickly overwhelm people nearby, causing them to pass out.

Safe Surfaces

There have been a lot of stories about products made from inexpensive materials exposing consumers to dangerous chemicals such as Bisphenol A (BPA) or pthalates. Manufacturers looking for economical alternatives would be smart to consider non-toxic silicone. Silicone gives off no toxic compounds even when heated.

Another danger in many materials is the harboring of disease agents such as bacteria or molds. Many other materials are porous, giving germs a place to hide and making them hard to clean even when using a disinfectant or antibacterial cleanser. Silicone has a smooth surface so is easier to keep clean and free from bacteria. This makes our custom silicone keypads perfect for classrooms, hospitals or other areas where disease is a concern.

These are just a few of the advantages of Si Tech’s custom silicone keypads over other keypad materials. Silicone is also non-conductive, tasteless and odorless, and resistant to staining. For more information on the advantages of our products, contact Si Tech for a free, no obligation quote.

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