What is a Membrane Potentiometer?
Our standard Membrane Potentiometer is a conductive printed polyester-based circuit that is typical used as a linear position or voltage dividing sensor. A two position Membrane Potentiometer can also act as a rheostat. These can be provided in a wide range of shapes from a single linear and radial potentiometer to containing several sensing elements within a single sensor. With a profile as thin as .019″, these sensors can also be fully integrated right into your control panel alongside of other interactive elements such as membrane keys, LED indicator lights, displays and more. With this low profile, the Membrane Potentiometer also allows for an instillation and integration into smaller spaces than can be typically achieved with its bulky mechanical counterpart.
With a 3-pin electrical construction containing a closed loop resistive path and a collector pin, you have a minimal connection profile. A standard Membrane Potentiometer construction consists of a 2-layer Polyester based sensor with a sealed interior spacer layer, and a rear mounting adhesive selected to match your enclosure. The sensor can be actuated with very little pressure, typically between 1-3 newtons, using a spring-loaded bearing wiper or even manually. These can be manufactured in a wide range of sizes from as small as .50″ up to 30″ in length. A 10K ohm potentiometer is our standard with a tolerance range for resistance is +/- 20% with a linearity of +/- 5%. The resistance values can be custom tailored to fit your application as well.
Membrane Potentiometer Applications:
- Television and audiovisual equipment (i.e., audio equipment/audio control, light equipment/light control/light dimmers, etc.)
- Motion control
- Computation and computerized electronics
- Calibration and tuning
- User-controlled input for machines and applications (i.e., automotive machines and applications, etc.)
These versatile flexible, low-profile sensors can be used as/for:
- Position feedback sensors for automotive, medical, dental, and aeronautical seating
- Marine ballast sensors
- Real-time inventory tracking
- Medical fluid dispensing and fluid level detection devices
- Joint rotation and linear travel feedback for robotic and prosthetic applications
- Slider and dimmer switches for home renovation
- Sliders for sound boards in the music industry
- Position and focusing controls for the security and photography markets
Materials used for Membrane Potentiometers:
- Conductive Silver and Graphite/carbon inks
- Thin film Polyester and G10/FR4 films
- Pressure sensitive adhesives
Key Benefits for a Membrane Potentiometer:
Customized User Interface Options:
As our Membrane Potentiometers are built to order, as opposed to an off the shelf option, you have the ability to tailor the interface to meet your needs.
Low profile construction provides a greater space saving design option.
We are able to provide a fully sealed construction that can hold up to an IP65 rating.
Easy to Replace:
As this is a surface laminated component, a Membrane Potentiometers provides a faster low-cost option for field and refurbish replacements. Since the Membrane Potentiometer is all contained in one package, it provides a drop-in place option without the costly replacement of the circuit boards contained inside the unit.
Lower Cost and Lead Time:
When compared to mechanical position sensors, a Membrane Potentiometer offers a greater cost reduction with respects to the upfront tooling costs and lead time.
Contact GVP For Custom Membrane Potentiometers:
At GVP, our Membrane Potentiometers are custom designed to your exact specifications and needs. With a wide range of materials and conductive ink options on-hand, your custom construction can be designed to best fit the operating and environmental conditions that your sensor will be exposed to during normal storage and use. With a sealed construction, these sensors can carry an IP rating of IP65 and can operate in high humidity environments as well as temperatures from -25º F up to 85º F. A Membrane Potentiometer provides a robust, economical, and simple to use alternative to a traditional mechanical sensor that can withstand a 1 million to over 10 million actuations depending on the construction.
If you think you have a design or application that would be a good fit for a custom printed Membrane Potentiometer, Contact Us today. Our engineering team will assist in the design and construction to give you the functionality you require.