Piezo switches have become a popular alternative to traditional plastic, as well as membrane, switches in recent years. Defined by their piezoelectric mechanics, they are durable, long-lasting and available in custom designs. While piezo switches can open and close a circuit — just like all other electrical switches — they are unique in several ways. For a better understanding of piezo switches and how they work, keep reading.
An Introduction to Piezo Switches
Also known as a piezoelectric switch, a piezo switch is a relatively new type of electrical switch that’s characterized by its piezoelectric method of operation. You can find them in keypads, human machine interfaces (HMIs) and other circuit-based input devices. Piezo switches feature one or more buttons that, when pressed, will open or close a corresponding circuit.
The Mechanics of a Piezo Switch
Although there are many types of piezo switches, they all use the same method of operation. For a switch to be considered piezo, it must use a piezoelectric element. The piezoelectric element is responsible for generating a voltage that opens or closes a corresponding circuit. When you press a button, the piezoelectric element will generate a voltage. This voltage will then open or close the corresponding circuit.
Piezoelectric elements are components that generate a voltage in response to mechanical stress. Pressing a button will create mechanical stress. This mechanical stress will essentially squeeze the piezoelectric element so that it creates electricity, which in turn opens or closes the corresponding circuit.