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ABS material is the most mature and high-end universal
Mechanical keyboard with its super long service life and special hand sense, recapture the film keyboard has been robbed of more than 10 years of the golden chair, become peripheral enthusiasts and game players in the palm of love. In addition to the service life and feel, the mechanical keyboard also has a unique skill of changing key caps. Players can make their beloved mechanical keyboard have a unique appearance according to their personal preferences and use needs.
Although the mechanical keyboard key cap can be freely replaced, the price is relatively high, and the price of some limited edition key caps can even be comparable to the high-end mechanical keyboard. Faced with a lot of professional English abbreviations such as ABS, POM and PBT, novice players often don't know how to choose. What kinds of materials are used to make mechanical keyboard keys? What's the difference between different materials in terms of hand feel and user experience? Let's understand it together today.
The common mechanical keyboard key caps are mainly divided into ABS, PBT and POM. The ABS key caps have the highest frequency of use on the mechanical keyboard. ABS key caps can be seen no matter the popular product of 200 or 300 yuan or the high-end flagship mechanical keyboard of thousands of yuan. ABS is known as "acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer". The material has the advantages of low cost, high strength, good toughness and convenient processing.
Due to these characteristics, ABS materials have been widely used. Due to the mature production process, the bond caps produced by ABS materials generally have the advantages of regular appearance, exquisite details and even texture. ABS key cap is not only well made, but also not very good to use.
The ABS key cap is excellent in both appearance and touch, but it has a very obvious disadvantage, that is, due to the low hardness of the material, the surface will become oily and bright after a long time of use, which is called "oil pumping" by players. The ABS button cap after oil injection is not only slightly sticky to the touch, but it will make the whole keyboard look dirty and greasy, so many players have some resistance to the ABS key cap. So the PBT and POM material key caps are there.
The best balance between white rock feel and wear resistance
The PBT material is known as polybutylene terephthalate and is known as "white rock". Its processing technology and cost are higher than ABS material, the material strength is better, and the shrinkage rate of injection molding is smaller. Its processing technology is relatively mature. It can even be processed by two-color injection molding to achieve the goal of never losing words. The key cap made of PBT material is dry and hard and has a very unique frosted feeling.
The biggest advantage of PBT material is that its abrasion resistance is obviously better than ABS material. The mechanical keyboard key cap made with PBT material has a long history of oil pumping in daily use. Compared with ABS material, it is greatly extended, which is very popular among game players and fans of peripherals. However, due to the relatively high price and complicated processing, it is usually only used in the middle end products of some brands.
Due to the large molecular gap and high temperature, the PBT material also has an outstanding feature, that is, it can use industrial dyes for dyeing operations. Players can buy white PBT, keyboard, buy industrial dye dyeing, to create a set of unique color keycap, of course, due to personal for operation on the impregnation process is relatively complex, suggest to buy small batch purchase to try a few keys are familiar with, again according to your requirements for a complete set of keys for dyeing operation respectively.
The black solid ice also becomes slippery without oil
Although the PBT material is higher in abrasion resistance than ABS material, it is not the strongest among the common mechanical keyboard key caps. There is also a kind of material, whose performance in hardness is even better than that of PBT material, which is the POM material called "black solid ice" by players.
The scientific name of POM material is called "polyformaldehyde", right, it is the polymer of the harmful gas formaldehyde that is common in household decoration. POM has high hardness, excellent abrasion resistance and self-lubricating properties, so it is often used for lightweight moving parts production. The touch of POM key cap is cold, and the self-lubrication of the material itself makes the key cap feel a unique dry and slippery feeling, which is more slippery than the ABS key cap with oil (ABS is sticky and greasy due to its material characteristics).
In addition to being easy to slip, the injection molding of POM key cap is also a big problem. Due to the large shrinkage rate of the material itself, it is easy to have too small assembly clearance if the key cap is not well controlled. As a result, when the key cap is installed on the keyboard, the shaft core will be pulled down together. Even if solve the problem of the bottom cross socket too tight, the material shrinkage rate is too large, still can leave the uniform and different shrinkage texture on the key cap surface.
Another disadvantage of POM is that the appearance party can't stand it, which is that the color is too monotonous. Currently, the POM key caps are all sold in the market in black color, which makes them only applicable to the black keyboard.