A tactile switch is basically a mechanical device that comes in different sizes and is commonly used in many of the electronic devices.This switch can be divided into four parts a cover, a plunger, a contact dome and a base. In this type of switch, electricity flows in an electrical circuit when you manually press the operating section.It comes with a small footprint that aids in mounting it on the surface of the Printed Circuit Boards (PCB) and thus connects it to the main electronic circuit.This switch can be divided into four parts a cover, a plunger, a contact dome and a base. In this type of switch, electricity flows in an electrical circuit when you manually press the operating section.
A tactile switch works based on a click response of a button that allows the users to feel the response of the operation. This clicking feel is generated from the contact dome of the switch. This contact dome when pressed activates the switch and turns it off once released. This is known as a ‘momentary action’ and is usually performed at a low current and low voltage. These tiny switches give a typical feeling when pressed.
The different types
There are practically two types of tactile switches one is the Standard tactile switch and the other is the Sealed tactile switch. The former is the regular one that has been explained above while the latter ones are designed to resist both dust and water and also withstand all kinds of harsh environmental conditions.
The sealed type is further sub-categorized into two types:
PCB insert hole terminals type –
- Here, the terminals are inserted into the holes on the PCB and are secured by soldering
PCB surface mounted terminals type –
- Here, the terminals are surface-mounted and then soldered on the PCB
The other varieties include long-stroke type, horizontal push-button type and ultra-subminiature type switches. All of these are available in different shapes and specifications in order to meet the needs of various applications.
A tactile switch is used every day but is hardly noticed. You can find its application both in consumer electronics, household devices and medical applications. In consumer electronics, these are used on keyboards, mouse, monitor, TV, set-top box, mobile phones, toys, etc. In and household devices you will find them in the control pad of microwave, air conditioners, remote control, etc. In medical devices, they are used in operating devices and equipment to set the operating conditions and operating modes and to start and stop the device.