So called “Micro Switches” have been around for many years and are made by a large variety of manufacturers. While the Micro Switch trademark is owned by Honeywell (who did not invent it, merely purchased it…), it has become part of the vernacular and is often used to refer to any small form factor, snap action switch.
How does a Micro Switch Work?
The operation of a micro-switch is characterized by the fact that a very small force and a very small actuator movement are typically involved. Most use a stiff metal actuator strip supported by a spring which flips when a certain force on the switch button is applied. When released it flips back with a high speed using hysteresis so the activation force is higher than the deactivation force. The quick movement of the metal strip produces the characteristic clicking sound lending tactile feedback to the mechanism.
Making Micro Switches Waterproof
Waterproof micro switches have found use in thousands of applications where a rugged outdoor or high humidity environment exists, or one of great temperature extremes as in military or space applications. The primary challenge to creating truly waterproof micro switches is that of maintaining seal integrity over potentially millions of switch activations. The goal of high electromechanical switch endurance must be balanced against the conflicting goals of start-up current requirements, type of actuator (plunger, lever, roller, ball, etc…) circuit type, cold or hot temperature performance, and other design parameters to achieve a balanced approach that meets all requirements.
Why Micro-Switches by CPI
Our unique value-add in the micro switch market stems from a few primary competitive differentiators.
- Our switches are truly waterproof, not just water resistant or Splash Proof. A completely sealed switch enclosure of either neoprene or santoprene is applied to
our pendant style maintained or momentary contact switch using a proprietary manufacturing process which allows for both high electromechanical performance, extended (mil-spec) temperature range, and low production costs.
- Ball and Plunger switches use a patented ball carrier design which prevents contaminants from entering the assembly even in the depressed position. These switches are among the most rugged made in the world.
- 60 years of experience in custom switch engineering means there are few requirements we can’t design for and achieve in this space. Our engineers will customize and quality your switch directly inside your application acting as an extension of your engineering team.
- All our micro switches are made and designed in the USA. We have not gone the route of cheap offshore components and uneven production quality control. All our products are made and tested right here in our East Hanover NJ facility.