What is a Tactile Switch?

Definition

Tactile Switches Image

These small sized switches are placed on PCBs and are used to close an electrical circuit when the button is pressed by a person.

When the button is pressed, the switches turn ON and when the button is released, the switches turn OFF.

A tactile switch is a switch whose operation is perceptible by touch.

Functions

Click Response The click response of the button lets the user feel the response of the operation from the switch.
High Durability The contact dome, which also acts as a moving contact, has specific materials, surface processing and shape properties to maintain a stable contact over a long period of use.

Most uses of Tactile Switches are to input an ON/OFF signal to devices.

Types

There are two types of Tactile Switches: Tactile Switches and Sealed Tactile Switches.

They are further sub-categorized into PCB Insert Hole Terminals Types or PCB Surface Mounted Terminals Types, depending on how the switch is mounted to a PCB.

Other product variations include small sized and Low-profile Types, Long and Medium-stroke Types, switches packaged on tape and more.

  Tactile Switches
PCB Insert Hole Terminals Standard Types Image
Standard Types
Horizontal Pushbutton Types Image
Horizontal Pushbutton Types
Hinge Lever Types Image
Hinge Lever Types
PCB Surface Mounted Terminals Standard Types Image
Standard Types
Ultra Subminiature Types Image
Ultra Subminiature Types
Long-stroke Types Image
Long-stroke Types
  Sealed Tactile Switches
PCB Insert Hole Terminals Standard Types Image
Standard Types
Radial Taping Packaging Image
Radial Taping Packaging
 
PCB Surface Mounted Terminals Standard Types Image
Standard Types
Low-profile Types Image
Low-profile Types
Medium-stroke Types Image
Medium-stroke Types

3D Models

Tactile Switches

Standard Tactile Switches consist of four components: cover, plunger, contact dome and base.

The base combines the contacts and terminals into a single component.

3D Models: B3FS

PCB Surface Mounted Terminals Type B3FS

1.Cover

The cover is utilized along with the base to protect the internal mechanisms of the switch.
It is made by pressing a metal plate.

2.Plunger

The plunger relays the force of the person pressing the switch to the contact dome.
It is generally made of resin, but sometimes rubber is used for larger strokes.

3.Contact Dome

The contact dome is a circular part made of metal.
It reverses when force is applied, and allows current to flow between the contacts to turn the switch ON. When the force is removed, the contact dome returns to its original shape and the switch turns OFF.

4.Base

The base is made of resin and both the contacts and terminals are combined into a single component.
It forms the base to which all other components of the switch are attached.

5.Contacts and Terminals

There are two types of terminals: ones that are inserted into insert holes on a PCB and ones that are mounted on the surface of a PCB.

Sealed Tactile Switches

Sealed Tactile Switches contain all the components of the Standard Tactile Switches, in addition to a pushbutton and film to create a sealed design.

3D Models: B3SN

Sealed Type PCB Surface Mounted
Terminals Type B3SN

1.Cover

2.Pushbutton

The pushbutton is a resin component designed that is pressed by a person.
The force it receives from a push is relayed to the plunger through the film.

3.FilmFilm

It seals the contact dome and contacts to prevent any moisture or foreign objects from reaching these components.
This component is required to seal the switch.

4.Plunger

The plunger relays the force received through the film to the contact dome and causes it to reverse.

5.Contact Dome

6.Base

7.Contacts and Terminals

Lineup

  6 × 6mm 12 × 12mm Other sizes
Tactile Switches
PCB Insert Hole
Terminals
B3F Standard Types
B3F Image
B3J Hinge Lever Types
B3J Image
B3W-9 Illuminated Types
B3W-9 Image
PCB Surface Mounted Terminals B3FS Standard Types
B3FS Image
  B3U Ultra Subminiature Types
B3U Image
B3AL Long-stroke
B3AL Image
   
B3SL
  6 × 6mm 12 × 12mm Other sizes
  Tactile Switches
PCB Insert Hole
Terminals
B3W
Standard Types

B3W Image
B3WN
Radial taping packaging

B3WN Image
PCB Surface Mounted Terminals B3S
Standard Types

B3S Image
   
B3SN
Low-profile Types

B3SN Image
   
B3SL
Medium-stroke Types

B3SL Image
   

Applications

Which types of commercial and industrial equipment use tactile switches to add functionality? From vending machines to measuring devices, tactile switches are ideal for enabling users to have the functions they need. Additional applications for tactile switches are as follows:

Operating Parameter Settings and Operations for Commercial and Industrial Equipment

  • Control panels on vending machines and security alarms
  • Control panels on measuring devices
Vending Machines Image

Vending Machines

Security Alarms Image

Security Alarms

Measuring Devices Image

Measuring Devices

Operating Settings and Start/Stop Operations on Consumer Electronics and Office Automation Equipment

  • Control panels on printers and copiers
  • Control panels on washing machines
Printers Image

Printers

Copiers Image

Copiers

Washing Machines Image

Washing Machines