Silicone rubber enables innovative haptic interfaces

Silicone rubber enables innovative haptic interfaces
Technology News |
General Silicones Compo-SiL® silicon rubber technology brings superior haptic perception to touch sensors and smart control panels.
By Jean-Pierre Joosting


Experienced silicone product manufacturer General Silicones (GS) has announced that its Compo-SiL® technology is being successfully used by Taiwan touch switch provider COCHIEF to create new and innovative haptic interfaces requiring touch sensor controls.

With the ongoing AI and IoT revolution, the integration of human-machine interfaces is set to expand beyond consumer electronic products to products and devices as various as automotive dashboards to provide new means of interaction and control.

Current solutions either use glass surfaces or acrylic materials as surface material. Both materials give uses a hard and dry tactile feedback. Silicone rubber, on the other hand, provides a superior haptic feel.

The patented Compo-SiL® technology of General Silicones provides COCHIEF several advantages that previously used materials for its touch sensors can’t deliver. General Silicones can modify the surface properties of silicone rubber. The material has a soft touch and feel, can provide different friction levels, and embossments can mimic surface patterns of other materials such as leather. Combined with the ability to make the silicone semi-transparent and the use of standard adhesion procedures, the Compo-SiL® silicone rubber opens new pathways for improved haptic human-machine interaction.

Silicone rubber is an ideal material for adding futuristic 21st-century style HMI interaction to devices and surfaces. The unique patented PU modified layer of Compo-SiL® allows for digital printing of the silicone rubber to give the illusion of surface structures like wood or metal and to indicate the location of buttons and sliding switches. The modified PU layer allows the Compo-SiL® silicone composite film to be firmly bonded to the capacitive touch panel with general adhesives. Since the initial concepts for Compo-SiL® by the GS R&D team, the potential of industries and applications that can take advantage of this innovation is huge.

Michael Lin, CEO of GS, said:” We are just starting to understand what potential our cooperation can deliver to the many industries requiring HMI”.

Chris Lin, CEO of COCHIEF, said, “I was surprised to see how Compo-SiL® can bring a new experience to our touch panel products. We can now provide our customers more freedom with product design and a nice leather touch feeling. As the material is eco-friendly as well, I foresee excellent development opportunities.”

The following video demonstrates the surface effect of the Compo-SiL® silicone composite film that was printed with a simulated pattern on the back PU modified layer and then attached to the capacitive touch panel designed by COCHIEF.

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