Human to Machine Interfaces (HMI) are how we communicate with devices. Of course, the printed circuitry on a membrane switch or touch sensor needs to work, but there are other factors that can have critical affects on the quality and functionality for the life of a device. Two that are often overlooked are the metal domes and adhesive.
- The dome itself was not formed properly. This causes stress in the metal and it collapses.
- Improper placement of a dome.
- If a person is using a hard object to actuate the dome other than their finger (like a pen), it could reform the dome and cause it to collapse.
Force curve testing has the capability to determine the incoming quality of the dome, and prove that it is within ASTM and the manufacturers standards before it is even put into a membrane switch. According to Wikipedia, "ASTM International, formerly known as American Society for Testing and Materials, is an international standards organization that develops and publishes voluntary consensus technical standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems, and services." If the force curve is within standards that indicates that it is formed properly, it also means that the metal dome will give your end user the right tactile response (there is nothing like the crisp snap of a tactile switch).
- When new substrates or inks are evaluated, it is critical to test if the adhesive that is being used is compatible with the new material.
- Testing new adhesives with current inks to confirm they play nice together and the bond is not compromised.
- If an adhesive is beyond it’s two year shelf life, we can investigate the method adhesive supplier use to test their adhesive and duplicate this testing in house. This would let us know if the adhesive has lost any of it’s bond strength.
Sometimes customers require Design Verification and Part Qualification testing, this machine adds to the amount and quality of data that Xymox can provide.