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Graphic Overlay-Wonderful And Remarkable Skill

On Graphic Overlay, The cosmetics of any electronic or electrical device are of most importance. The apparent nature of the product directly influences the customer. Hence the product developer is continuously working on a better solution regarding graphic overlay.

The graphic overlays are widely used in user interface circuits like a keypad, operator consoles, display boards to indicate warnings, LCDs, and indicator LEDs.

This graphic overlay shows an impressive display of the console having keys, switches, LEDs, LCD, speaker, and other electronic output-input components.

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The graphic overlays are made of two primary materials which are

1. Graphic OverlayPolyester

Polyester is slightly more expensive than polycarbonate. We will use polyester plastic in an application like having an embossed keypad and graphically enhanced membrane switches because it has long flex life.

Polyester is resilient against acids and chemicals, so the electronic devices used in medical, and microbiology labs have their graphic overlay made of polyester.

They are suitable for high tensile strength and dimensional stability applications. The function at full temperature and humidity ranges

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2. Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is cheaper than polyester. It is used in consoles, user interface circuits consisting of complex keys, and hardwearing, and to be used in harsh outdoor environments.

It is resilient against seawater and can be used in maritime electronics as a graphics overlay.

They have better optical clarity. Tight against heat, abrasion, and stains. They have high impact resistance and are durable.

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Graphic Overlay–Content

The following are the service providers of the graphics overlay





2. Graphic OverlayComparison

Design Details



Chemical Resistance



Scratch Resistance



Actuation life

>1 million

Up to 200K




Ink receptivity






Fold endurance



Material thickness

Up to 0.254 mm

Up to 1.52 mm

Hygroscopic resistance

Very good





3. Graphic OverlayScreen Printing

The method used to imprint the graphics on the substrate is known as screen printing. In this, we have the mesh used to transfer ink onto the substrate when the blade is moved across the screen.

This will fill the open parts of the stencil with ink while the clocked elements are not supplied.

The mesh is made of nylon (synthetic polymer) with a smaller/more exceptional aperture for more resolution of details of imprinted graphics.

This is the mesh with excellent material squeezed to spread the ink—the more beautiful the resolution, the better.

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Film positive with a design pressed next to screen in a vacuum and exposed with solid lights.

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While the area is exposed to film and is clear of emulsion, allowing ink to pass through the garment.

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4. Graphic Overlays Applications

They are enormously used in many devices, panels, consoles, keyboards, interfaces, etc.

  1. Medical Devices
  2. Equipment panels
  3. Control Panels
  4. ATMs
  5. Remote access device
  6. Temperature controller, Servo control panels
  7. Various high techs instruments like oscilloscopes, function generators, power supplies for label printing, and graphic overlays

5. Custom Graphics overlay:

There is a possibility that the customer demands the manufacturer to design a customized graphic overlay according to his requirements. This is done quickly.

A thermal transfer process is used in which a colored resin is merged onto the rear side of durable ten mil polycarbonate / Lexan film.

The resistance to scratch and chemicals is tremendous. When printed, a sticker or adhesive layer (Peel and Stick) is added, and the graphics layout is cut according to customer requirements.

The resultant is a product similar to screen printing, while the whole process just took a fraction of time and much less cost. This install screen printing eliminates the need for tooling costs and time delays associated with conventional screen printing.

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Hommer Zhao
Hi, I am Hommer Zhao, the founder of WellPCB. So far, we have more than 4,000 customers worldwide. If you have any questions, you can feel free to contact me! Your happiness as a customer is my priority!