Home > Graphic Overlay

Graphic overlay is a vital part of any modern control component for human-machine interface (HMI), branding, or other visual interaction. Graphic overlay is usually the first thing that a customer or end user sees when interacting with a machine or product. Consequently, the overlay has a big influence on the customer’s first impression. Attention to detail, precise color matching and intuitive graphics are critical factors in creating an effective graphical overlay and user interface experience.

At LONGSUN, a core competence is the custom design, engineer, and manufacture of custom graphic overlays to meet to the unique interface needs of our customers and their users.


Graphic Overlay Materials 

We offer variety of overlay materials for graphic overlays with thickness ranging from 7 mil to 30 mil. Material choice depends on the end user application and the environment in which it will be used, including exposure to sunlight and chemicals. Cost is also a consideration. Polycarbonate and polyester are the most commonly used materials.

Polycarbonate(PC) is easy to die cut, print and texture. However, it may show signs of wear after 100,000 actuations. If the environment where the membrane switch is to be used is subject to chemicals, a hard coat should be used for protection. Polycarbonate is optically clear at any thickness and provides a crisper emboss. Polycarbonate is lower in cost than polyester. Most users think polycarbonate looks better than polyester.

Polyester (PET) is thinner but is a more resilient material that shows no sign of wear after 1,000,000 actuations. It also has superior resistance to chemicals and harsh environments. Polyester is more expensive than polycarbonate.


Graphic Overlay Options

Options available for a graphic overlay include:

  • Custom printing
  • Textured surfaces
  • Color matching –Pantone Color Guide
  • Embossing – pillow embossing or ridge embossing
  • Adhesives customized for what it will stick to:
    • High mass – for heavily textured surfaces
    • Low surfaced – for powder-coated or low surface energy plastics
    • High strength – as required for the surface
  • Chemical resistant surfaces
  • Ultraviolet (UV) hardcoats


Graphic Overlay Features/Benefits

Graphic overlays are manufactured in a variety of shapes, sizes and materials, but share these common features and benefits:

  • Durability
  • Sub-surface graphics – printing is done on the inside of the graphic overlay so it doesn’t degrade its graphic identity and won’t wear out from use or cleaning
  • Short lead times – approximately 3 weeks after artwork approval