Overlay Embossing & Materials

22 Mar Overlay Embossing & Materials


To provide a tactile finish to a Membrane Switch or Overlay the material can be embossed to give a raised finish to the keypad area. You can choose from a number of different styles, these include:

  • Rail Emboss
  • Pillow Emboss
  • Dome Emboss
  • Multi-Level Emboss


The main reason for using an emboss is to provide tactile confirmation that a button is present before it is pressed. Embossing is typically two-dimensional and generally 0.25 – 0.50mm high.

Overlay Emboss

Polycarbonate & Polyester

The two most common overlay materials are polyester and polycarbonate. These materials are available in a wide variety of thicknesses and finishes. Polycarbonate is the most common overlay material for a number of reasons most notably its ease of processing and cost effectiveness. Under extreme conditions we would recommend polyester over polycarbonate as life cycle tests have shown that polycarbonate will begin to show wear sooner than polyester. Polycarbonate shows wear as early as 40,000 cycles whereas even at 100,000 cycles polyester show no wear, this is only applicable for extremely high usage applications. It is worth keeping in mind that gloss materials are highly susceptible to scratching and should be hard coated for protection.

Read more about Overlays here. Read more about Membrane Switches here.

Both materials are available in a wide variety of textures, finishes and thicknesses so please get in touch with us and we will happily recommend a suitable material for you.