||Formed In-Mold Decorated
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Acrylic - a synthetic polymer which is the basis of most transfer adhesives. Has very good aging characteristics and initial low tack, which allows repositioning.
Actuation - the process that causes a switch to change position, i.e. to open or close.
Actuation Force - the minimum force required to electrically close a switch contact.
Actuator - a formed or molded protrusion to make contact with the center of a switch location improving tactile feedback.
Alternating Current (AC) - a current that alternates its direction of flow.
Alternating Voltage (VAC) - a voltage, the average of which is zero, which periodically changes its polarity.
Aluminum - most popular metal substrate we use. Most common alloy is 1100-H14 (AKA commercially pure aluminum; it is a general purpose alloy)
Aluminum alloy 5052-h34 - a general-purpose alloy that has higher strength and good forming properties. Usually used in industrial and marine applications.
Amper (AMP) (A) - a standard unit of current intensity
Amplifier - any device which acts to increase the magnitude of an applied signal
Analog - an encoding output that electronically identifies switch location by resistive values.
Anti-microbial Coating - an anti-bacterial coating that kills the biotic agents it comes in contact with.
Anode - the positive electrode of a device, i.e. the electrode toward which electrons move during current flow.
Anodizing - the electrolytic process in which a hard protective oxide film is deposited on the surface of aluminum.
ASC II - American standard code for information interchange, i.e. computer keyboards.
AWG - American wire gage standards.
Backlighting - illumination originating from within or behind the switch panel which outlines or accents specific areas. Typical lights are LEDs, Fiber Optics, Electroluminescence, LCDs, and incandescent lamps.
Backplate - a rigid substrate or subpanel to which the back surface of a membrane/Piezo® switch is attached.
Bezel - a molded, routed or die cut frame mounted on the face or perimeter of a keyboard.
Bleed - ink coverage that extends beyond the dimensions of the part. This assures that the background is to the edge of the part once the part is trimmed to its final size.
Bounce Contact - the momentary (and decreasing) rebounds occurring between two contact surfaces suddenly thrust together before they attain firm closure. Bounce is measured as a time interval required for reaching firm closure after initial closure.
Bounce Operator - The vibration or vacillating of applied force made by an individual's finger when actuation a mechanical/membrane switch.
Breakdown - A failure of a circuit or device, due principally to excessive voltage, current, or power.
Brite finish - a purchased finish. A very reflective substrate
Capacitance (C) - The property exhibited by two conductors separated by a dielectric, whereby an electric charge becomes stored between the conductors.
Carbon - A non metallic element that conducts electricity.
Cathode - The negative electrode of a device, i.e., the electrode from which electrons move when a current passes through the device.
Chip - A small slab, wafer or die of dielectric or semiconductor material on which a subminiature component or circuit is formed.
Coating - once the aluminum or metal substrate has been printed on, a primary coating is applied to protect the surface. According to the technical manual, there are two types: acrylic varnish that contains UV stabilizers (primary use on parts that are used outdoors); and modified epoxy that does not contain UV stabilizers. Primary application of this coating is for parts that will not have heavy exposure to UV. This type of coating can be applied clear or with various dulling agents. Dull #2 = <20% dull; Dull #4 = 20 to 30% dull; Dull #6 = >30% dull. Both coatings are applied to the surface of the aluminum using the roller coating method. Both are cured to achieve maximum hardness and abrasion resistance. We are also able to add dyes to obtain a colored finish - for example, most of our gold substrate. This is normally done after size coating but before printing.
Color matching - the physical creation of a color in the range of unidimensional hues applied to a specific product. Wilson-Hurd uses computer color matching.
Common Buss - an encoding output that consists of one circuit lead for all switch locations or group of switches.
Connector - A device that provides electrical connection.
Contact Bounce - the time required for an electrical contact to be stable after closure.
Contact Rating - the maximum volts, amps, and watts electrically passed through a switch
Crosstalk - Undesired transfer of signals between system or parts of a system. (Noise)
CRT - Cathode ray tube computer monitor.
Crystal - A material distinguished by the arrangement of its atoms into a redundant pattern called a lattice and which present characteristic geometric shapes.
Curing - a process of drying all inks and coatings for maximum reliability.
Current (A or I) Unit, Amp - The flow of electricity, i.e., the characteristic drift movement or carries such as ions, electrons, or holes. I=E/R
Custom Keyboard - a custom design requiring special tooling.
DC - Direct current.
DCV - A voltage which does not change in polarity.
Dead front - a transparent area of copy on overlays and panels that is visible only when lit from the back.
Dead Front Display - A window that is printed with a somewhat translucent ink. If properly matched, the window will blend into the background color and can be viewed only when illuminated.
Debossing - similar to embossing, except the copy is lowered in relation to the substrate.
Debounce - An electronic circuit designed for eliminating bounce by latching on to the initial contact and holding it until all bouncing has ceased.
Decoding - An operation or process in which a set of signals is translated in to a single equivalent or representative value.
Diamond decoration - a decorative process where brite aluminum (generally printed with a dark solid) is embossed and then shaved to leave a brilliant silver finish. The pattern of strokes taken during the shaving process determines the type of diamond decoration.
Die cut - to make an opening by means of a sharp edged steel knife set in a holding tool.
Dielectric - A material which is a NONCONDUCTOR OF ELECTRICITY (INSULATOR).
Digital - Descriptive of that which uses signals representing characters or number, the signals being of discrete rather than continuously variable values, or those produced by pulses of one current or voltage value.
Discrete Device - Any component or devise that operates as a self-contained unit.
Domed Plate - a clear polyurethane resin is applied to plastic or metal sheets to provide a ''domed'' 3-dimensional effect.
Domes Metal - Stainless steel or composition of which are used to obtain a specific tactile feedback.
Domes Polyester - An embossed polyester which is to provide tactile feedback to the user.
ECP Division - the business division at Wilson-Hurd encompassing: membrane switches and assemblies, Piezo®interface panels, Duraswitch® PushGate®interface panels, electronic interface panels, and rubber and zinc cast keypads.
Electrical Actuation - Switch actuation produced by various electrical phenomena. In most cases, the switching action involves a change in state rather than a mechanical operation.
Electrical Noise - Extraneous undesirable current or voltages that interfere with desirable electrical quantities.
Electro Luminescent Lighting (EM) - Light produced by charged phosphorous.
Electrostatic discharge - Transfer of high potential electrical charge between objects by contact or through the air. ESD from humans to electronic apparatus may damage or destroy circuit components.
Embossing - A shallow profile extending above the surface of a faceplate selectively formed under heat and/or pressure with a die, i.e., rim (raised border), pad (raised keys) and raised lettering. Achieved by using a steel rule die. Material is forced upward a max. of .006'' to .010'' from the substrate, thus creating a raised image.
EMI - electro magnetic interference - electro magnetic force generally produced by electrical motors in operation.
Encoding - In digital operations, a process in which a single input signal is translated into an equivalent or representative set of simultaneous output signals.
End of Life Criteria - A specified set of limiting electrical and/or mechanical conditions, any one of which, when reached, indicated that a switch has reached the end of its useful life.
Epoxy Coating - a coating derived from epoxy resins.
Ergonomics - The applied science concerned with the characteristics of people in their environment.
Erosion - The tendency of the metal of the switch contacts to migrate to one side or the other with age (current flow) causing roughened surfaces and higher contact resistance.
ESD - electro-static discharge - static electricity accumulation on one surface area and discharged to another surface when they come near each other.
Etched Circuit - A plastic film/metal foil laminate from which the, metal has been selectively chemically removed to produce the desired electrical circuit. Copper foil and polyester (MYLAR) film are common components for etched circuits.
Feedback - The mechanism by which the operator senses that a switch has been activated; audio, visual or tactile.
Fiber optic - Extruded materials, such as certain plastic filaments, which provide paths for light.
Finn power - similar to the NCs but is designed for heavier gages of metal and larger punches. Produces cleaner holes.
Flexible keyboard - a keyboard designed with a non-rigid lower circuit.
Flexible tail - the termination exit which is an integral part of a flexible circuit in all flexible membrane switches.
Florescent Coating - a coating of the electromagnetic spectrum.
Fold Over - A membrane switch construction utilizing a base ply which contains both sides of the switch circuit(s). This base ply is folded over on itself with an intervening space ply to provide the completed switch arrangement.
Folded circuit - a low cost circuit construction technique where one flexible circuit is folded to form an upper and lower circuit.
Frequency - The rate at which a phenomenon is repeated.
Graphic Faceplate - The outer visible layer of the membrane switch. The layer on which the graphics are printed.
Graphic Overlay - See graphic faceplate.
Hard-coating - a coating applied to a surface making it impervious to particular chemicals at the same time adding scratch resistance.
Heat Stake - a bonding technique consisting of heating formed plastic pins to hold a keyboard assembly.
Hygroscopic - the property of absorbing moisture. Polycarbonate is said to be hygroscopic in nature and tends to change dimensions as humidity levels change.
IC - Integrated chip
Impedance - (Resistance) The total opposition offered by a circuit or device to the flow of alternative current.
Induction - The phenomenon whereby a body becomes electrically charged by the field surrounding a nearby charged body.
Infrared (IR) - Pertains to invisible rays whose frequencies are just lower than those of visible light.
Infrared Radiation - Radiation at frequency in the infrared region, also referred to heat rays.
Insulation Resistance - The resistance of an insulator, measured as the ratio of a voltage connected across the insulator to current lowing through the insulator between the connectors.
Interconnect - That portion of the flexible circuit outside the keyboard area used to connect the electrical leads from the switch assembly to the main unit. Contains an integral electrical connector or provisions for a connector.
Interdigitated Finger Pad - a contact pad configured that consists of two or three inputs that appear on the same contact surface.
Interface - A device used so that two or more independent systems can meet and act on or communicate with one another.
Intrinsically Safe (IS) - Refers to inner working of a part/package being safe from outside influences; i.e., piezo crystals within Dynapic package.
ISO 9000 - Standards developed by the European communities.
ITO - Indium Tin oxide
Keypad - The electrically conductive contact area on the inner surface of the upper membrane (shorting pad).
Keyboard - An array of ' two or more discrete switches with interconnecting circuitry to provide human interface with the electronic circuits.
Laminate - to apply one material over another. An adhesive is laminated to a substrate or polycarbonate is laminated to aluminum by means of an adhesive intermediate.
LCD - Liquid Crystal Display
Leakage Current - A minute current that flows through a switch on the surface or in the body of the insulating material.
Leakage Resistance - The resistance of the path through which leakage current flows.
LED - Light Emitting Diode. Colors - red, green, amber and yellow.
Lithographic Printing - Also, offset lithography. A process for applying an image to a surface with a smooth plate treated to accept ink in preselected areas.
Living Hinge Key - a key connected to a plastic hinge.
Mating Force - The force that holds the switch contacts together in closed position.
Matrix - an encoding method to arrange switch groups in particular rows and columns.
Matte - a dull, non-reflective surface or finish. The degree of matte is sometimes expressed as percent.
Membrane Switch - A composite of two thin pliable films, conductive in nature separated by an air (dielectric). When an outside force acts upon the upper film (switch logo) it closes making contact with the lower film (switch non-logo). Hence a membrane switch is formed.
Migration - the leaching out of particles in a conductor when exposed to a high humidity and moisture environment.
Mill finish - the aluminum as it is received from the mill.
Momentary Contact - Actuator returns from its operated position to its normal or free position when actuating force is removed.
MTBF - Mean time before failure.
Mylar - a plastic decal stock of very thin gage. In some instances, Mylar is metallized and has an appearance similar to foil.
NC (numerically controlled) turret - holes are punched in press sheets using standard or special tooling. A paper tape carries the program or directions for locating the holes.
Normally Closed (N.C.) Switch - One that, unactuated, maintains a contact closure and opens it upon operation.
Normally Open (N 0.) Switch - One that must be actuated to attain closure and otherwise leaves the circuit open.
Operating Force (Actuation Force) - The force required to transfer the switch from one position to another.
Operating Life - The useful life of a switch, terminated by outright failure or by its reaching one of the predesignated end-of life criteria.
Panel Meter - A usually small meter for mounting on or through an opening in a panel.
Pantone matching system - (PMS) an ink color designation system commonly used in American industry.
Parallel Port - In computer practice, the simultaneous transmission of all bits in a multibit word over individual lines.
Peel strength - the adhesion power (tack or stickiness) of an adhesive. Peel strength is normally expressed as the amount of force required to pull an adhesive away from its substrate at a 180-degree angle.
PEMS - brand name - come in variety of styles -
Permanent protective laminates - a permanent polyester laminate to provide an enduring barrier between decorated surfaces and the outside world.
|Studs - look like standard boltStandoffs - look like threaded receptacle for a standard boltEither open (both ends open) or blind (only one end open)|
Piezo® Electric Ceramic - A ceramic that delivers a voltage when deformed; or conversely, which changes in shape when a voltage is applied to it.
Piezo® Electric Crystal - A crystal such as quartz, rochelle salt, tourmaline or various synthetics that act as a transducer converting electrical force (voltage) into mechanical force and vice versa.
Pinout - Determining the sequence of output signals to be delivered at the end of the circuit tail.
Plastic & Metal Division - the business division at Wilson-Hurd that produces nameplates, dial, panels, trim, overlays, and formed in-mold decorated inserts for film insert molding.
Polycarbonate - a plastic material often used for nameplates because of its excellent clarity, stability, printing, and die cutting characteristics.
Polymer Thick Film (PTF) - A circuit conductor material consisting of a composite of a granulated, conductive solid and a resin binder usually applied by screen stencil printing. PTF conductors are usually on the order of .001 think. They are called "thick" to distinguish them from another circuit technology based on vapor deposition of conductors on the order of .00005 thick.
Polyurethane coating - a coating derived from polyester and urethane resins.
POP Division - the division at Wilson-Hurd that produces point-of-purchase display components and cosmetic packaging components. Included in this division's product offering is trim, risers, signage, appliques, and logo tags.
Power (P) - Unit, Watt The rate of doing work or transmitting energy P=EI
Pressure sensitive adhesive - an adhesive that is activated by pressure.
Pressure Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) - A high tack adhesive film requiring only pressure (no heat or catalyst) to form a high strength bond. Generally protected by a release sheet prior to actual application.
Printed circuit (PC) - An electrical circuit manufactured using more or less standard printing or screening methods with conductive inks.
Programmable Logic Control (PLC) - Allows user to logically control equipment and systems by changing software parameters on a standard hardware devise.
Proof - a visual representation of how the finished part will look. It is customary to submit an artwork proof for approval by the customer before producing a new or revised part.
Protective films - to protect the cosmetics of decorated parts during fabrication and handling.
Registration - the corresponding placement of successive printing images. Also, the relationship of the printed image to the mechanics of the part.
Resistance - the contact ohms resistance of a closed switch, or circuit contact.
Resistance (R) units OHMS - The opposition offered by a component or circuit to the passage of current.
Reverse printing - ink placement resulting in a colored background, leaving the copy or graphics to 'reverse' out of the substrate.
RFI - radio frequency interference - high frequency radio waves.
Rigid membrane - a membrane switch with a rigid lower PCB circuit.
RS 232 - Standard serial port used on computers and modems.
Satin - metal on which the surface is mechanically brushed to remove most imperfections. Result is a matte finish.
Scratch/brushed finish - when sheets of aluminum travel along a conveyor beneath an abrasive surface to create a distinctive grain running the length of the finished part.
Screen printing - ink is forced through a photographically created mesh stencil (screen) using a rubber squeegee allowing heavy ink deposits with a minimal number of passes.
Sealed Membrane Switch - A switch or switch panel where the internal circuitry and contacts are completely sealed from the outside environment.
Second surface printing - printing on the underside of plastic substrate where they are protected from damage and wear.
Selective adhesive - adhesive applied to selected portions of a part. WH die cuts the selective adhesive and assembles it to the part in a separate step.
Selective texture - a surface coating to texture selective areas on a graphic overlay. The degree of texture can be varied by the mesh of the screen used to apply it. A fine screen will create a slight texture, while a coarse screen is used when more texture is desired. In addition, heavier coverage results from increased spacing between the screen and press sheet at the time of application.
Serial Port - A computer input/output port in which bits of each byte or word are sent or received one at a time, in series.
Service Rating - Maximum recommended voltage or current a connector can carry continuously. (See Working Voltage).
Shear adhesion - the holding strength (inner strength) of an adhesive. It is normally expressed as the time required to pull the adhesive from its substrate on a vertical plane with weight applied.
Shielding - a method to protect the switch from interference or static discharge.
Short to Ground - A switch configuration where one side of the switch is a common ground or bus.
Shorting Pad - conductive contacts printed on the upper layer of the switch.
Signal - An electrical quantity such as; a current or voltage that can be used to convey information for communication, control, calculation, etc.
Size coating - used prior to printing on aluminum. It is necessary to size coat the press sheets. The size coating is then baked, causing it to grab onto the surface of the metal substrate. The litho ink is then applied, baked, and it in turn grabs onto the sizing. Without the size coating as an intermediate, the inks would not adhere well.
Snap Action - A contact actuating mechanism that produces a high velocity transfer of the movable contact from one extreme position to the other.
Solvent activated adhesive - an adhesive that requires the application of a solvent to energize its holding properties.
Spacer - an insulated non-conductive substrate with opening at switch locations to separate the upper and lower circuit layers.
Static Shielding - an electrostatic dissipative layer applied to a substrate to reduce static build up.
Steel rule dies - used to fabricate plastics and adhesives to their final configuration. Outside shapes and interior holes are die cut in a single stroke. The die consists of cutting blades (rules) embedded in a wooden base and surrounded by rubber cushions.
Stroke - The vertical displacement of the button necessary to achieve contact actuation and closure in a push button switch.
Substrate - A layer of film in a laminate. In flexible circuitry, the plastic film to which the electrically conductive material is laminated or screened.
Subsurface printing - printing that is placed on the back surface of a transparent substrate. The printing is visible through the substrate, but protected from exposure to external elements.
Surface energy - in plastics; refers to the molecular attraction of a surface. High surface energy means the adhesive can flow or 'wet out' on the surface, assuring a stronger bond. Example, pour water on two cars - one waxed, one not. The water represents the flow of adhesive. The waxed car represents low surface energy because the water (adhesive) cannot create a good bonding surface.
Surge Current - The maximum current that an already closed pair of contacts can conduct without impairing their subsequent performance. Usually stated as amperes per seconds.
Surge Protection - A device or electronic employed to absorb a potentially destructive transient or over-voltage.
Switch Panel - An integral arrangement of membrane switches. May be the complete and finished zero travel keyboard or a component of a short or full stroke keyboard.
Tactile Feedback - Operator perception through his sense of touch that switch actuation has taken place.
Tactile Feel - the snap action feel of domed switch with graphics or keytops, and the full stroke of full travel membrane switches.
Tail - see interconnect.
Termination - the means to electrically connect the contact switches of a membrane switch.
Texturing - changing the RZ surface characteristics of a substrate.
Throw - Movement of a contact from one stationary point to another. A single throw switch has a normally open or a normally closed circuit per pole. A double throw has a normally open and a normally closed circuit per pole.
Touch Screen - A clear transparent electronic screen or frame applied over or around a display that allows an individual to input information by touch or location on a grid. Technologies include resistive, capacitive, acoustical, and IR.
Travel - the downward movement of a key or the distance between the upper and lower contacts.
Ultra-sonic Weld - a bonding method of switch layers using high frequency sound waves.
UV Curing - A system which employs ultraviolet radiation to complete the curing process.
Venting - an air channel cut in a spacer layer connecting groups of switch locations for air pressure equalization during switch closure.
Voltage (V or E) - Electromotive force, or difference of potential; E=IR, where I is current and R is resistance.
Withstand Voltage - The voltage an electrical connector must withstand for one minute without electrical breakdown. Voltage is applied between conductors and grounding devices of the connector in various combinations. This is also called test voltage.
Working Voltage - Maximum recommended voltage for continuous operation of a connector.