Piezoelectric buttons withstand the harshest environments: the food and beverage industry, professional kitchens, hospitals, laboratories and pharmaceutical industries, mining, oil and gas or automatic parking or car wash.
But what makes piezo buttons a solution you should really consider for your application?
The piezoelectric effect (from the Greek “Piezein”, to press, to press) was discovered in 1881 by the Curie brothers.
This is the property of certain bodies (such as quartz, topaz, ceramics, certain crystals and polymers) to become electrically polarized under the action of a deforming force (direct effect); reciprocally to deform when an electric field is applied to them (Indirect effect).
It is this Direct effect that is implemented in piezoelectric buttons: the pressure of the finger applied to the surface of the button causes the piezo element installed under it to “bend” very noticeably (imagine a drumhead). The piezo crystal converts this change of mechanical state into an electrical signal which is amplified by the electronics embedded in the body of the button. This short “on” type pulse can vary depending on the applied pressure; higher pressures generate higher voltages that take longer to dissipate. A capacitor can be used to store the charge to lengthen the circuit closing time constant and hence the pulse length.
The VPM (Versatile Piezo Module)
The technology used in the buttonsTactHill and everswitch is based on a single mechanically assembled VPM without the use of adhesives, glues or solder - which age over time and environmental variations (ambient temperature, humidity...). The VPM is encapsulated in a custom-designed, industry-standard, one-piece metal enclosure giving our buttons one of the highest levels of reliability and durability on the market.
The main advantage of piezo buttons is, in fact, twofold:
- no moving partsand therefore mechanical wear induced by friction forces. This property also avoids the presence of a gap between the key and the body of the button, liable to favor the penetration of liquid into the body of the button.The Tacthill and Everswitch buttons are thus IP68/IP69K waterproof on the front.
- no electromechanical contact= no electric arc thus avoiding the risk of "carboning" of the contact over time.
These characteristics make piezo buttons extremely reliable switches with an almost unlimited lifespan – more than 50 million cycles have been tested! -.
Versions certified according to the ATEX2014/34/EU directive are also offered in the Everswitch range for use in explosive environments.
Furthermore, the integration and wiring of the piezo buttons is particularly simple since their operation is similar to that of a dry contact!
Typical variations incorporate a pair of red wires (for the dry contact) and if the button is illuminated one, two or three other pairs of wires for powering the LED(s).
Our piezoelectric buttons are mainly used in applications in the food industry and the medical environment because they are extremely resistant to repeated cleaning with detergents and high pressure.
They are also perfectly suited to the nautical industry (boats, yachting, underwater exploration equipment), the swimming pool and spa market (jacuzzi, hammam, sauna) or car wash centres.
In general, piezoelectric buttons are ideal for all applications that involve intense, repeated use and subject to the most stringent environmental conditions.
Pools & Spas
Yachting & Marine
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