Where are vandal-resistant switches used?
Today, we encounter electronic devices not only at home and at work, but also in public spaces. At this stage of the technological revolution, there is a need to use exceptionally durable and weather-resistant user interface elements. The simplest of these elements is an ordinary button – the one we find on a bus, train, car park gate, lift, ATM or at a pedestrian crossing. These buttons, called vandal-resistant because of their universality, seem to be something trivial. Nevertheless, they are a result of years of experimentation, precision engineering and specialised production technologies.
SCHURTER is a Swiss manufacturer specializing in electrical and electronic circuit protection components. Apart from fuses, suppression filters or power connectors, the company also offers a selection of vandal-resistant switches for various applications. Their manufacturer, a global leader in its field, makes every effort to ensure that products labelled with the SCHURTER logo meet the most demanding (international and industrial) standards and are durable and reliable.
What are the types of vandal-resistant switches?
A classic solution among vandal-resistant switches are push button switches, i.e. specially designed mechanical switches. They are mainly applied in closed spaces, in areas with heavy traffic. Their construction is based on a microswitch enclosed in a tight housing, resistant to “non-sensitive” use. Thanks to such a design, this component can be successfully connected to a circuit that is adapted to ordinary switches (which is important e.g. when using standardized modules). These products are usually galvanised, made of acid-resistant steel or aluminium, which prevents corrosion and makes it easier to keep them clean and regularly disinfected. Some models have a built-in LED, i.e. the backlighting or illumination of the button, which can also serve an informative function (for example, a flashing light that signals the movement of the lift or confirms pressing). All these features can also be found in other types of vandal-resistant switches.
Piezoelectric switches have no moving parts. After touching the button surface, an electrical impulse is transmitted to the circuit. These are durable components with the additional advantage of sparkle-free design. Thanks to their characteristics, they can be applied in damp interiors (e.g. shower cubicles), as well as in rooms where flammable substances are stored. They are also used in outdoor applications, which is why SCHURTER are manufactured to meet the IP67 rating. As they can handle currents of up to 1A, these switches are usually used in control circuits.
The last type of vandal-resistant switches are capacitive switches. They operate on the same principle as capacitive touch sensors fitted e.g. in smartphone screens. They are characterized by exceptional sensitivity and durability. This category also includes cutting-edge solutions by SCHURTER, such as RGB LED illumination or backlight. The full range of colours can be used as a signalling component or serve an aesthetic function.
Which properties of the switch should be taken into account?
Choosing the right switch will depend on a number of factors. Depending on the application, the designer may need a specific contact configuration, button design or number of stable positions (1 or 2). That is why our catalogue includes buttons with DPDT, DPST, SPDT, as well as SPST (also in NO versions) configurations; concave and convex components equipped with seals etc. Perhaps the most important feature of the elements presented here is their manufacturer. Thanks to its many years of experience and care for the quality and durability of its products, SCHURTER deserves the title of one of the world leaders in the production of vandal-proof buttons. That is why we recommend exploring the solutions by this manufacturer – which are available directly from our warehouses.