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geekhack Projects => Making Stuff Together! => Topic started by: Leopard223 on Fri, 28 May 2021, 16:02:01

Title: What metal alloys are used in standard keyboard?
Post by: Leopard223 on Fri, 28 May 2021, 16:02:01
I'm looking to experiment with different plate materials being cut from China, however they have a wide range of metal alloys, I do know they vary by usage and price. 
So my question is, what's the standard Alu alloy used in keyboards plates and cases?

They offer - Aluminium alloy: 6061,6063,7075,5083, 5052, 7003, 303.
And - Stainless steel: 201,202,303,304,316,316L,416,431,C45, 1.2306, 1.4301.
Title: Re: What metal alloys are used in standard keyboard?
Post by: MIGHTY CHICKEN on Fri, 28 May 2021, 16:49:39
6061 and 6063 are probably the most common for alu

SS is a hard say, but I think 300 and 400 series are common ish
Title: Re: What metal alloys are used in standard keyboard?
Post by: nevin on Fri, 28 May 2021, 16:54:46
I'm looking to experiment with different plate materials being cut from China, however they have a wide range of metal alloys, I do know they vary by usage and price. 
So my question is, what's the standard Alu alloy used in keyboards plates and cases?

They offer - Aluminium alloy: 6061,6063,7075,5083, 5052, 7003, 303.
And - Stainless steel: 201,202,303,304,316,316L,416,431,C45, 1.2306, 1.4301.


what do you have now?
what's your preferences? stiff, soft, loud, quiet, etc...
might be able to save you some time & money....
Title: Re: What metal alloys are used in standard keyboard?
Post by: Leslieann on Fri, 28 May 2021, 20:09:19
It's not like we need the strength or anything so pretty much all metals on keyboards are chosen exclusively for machine-ability and cosmetic reasons (how well they take anodizing).

You aren't going to notice between 7075 and a 6061 plate other than anodizing, same for different grades of stainless. Frankly, I think you'd be sururprised how many different materials sound and feel similar unless you make a drastic change, and sometimes not even always then.
Title: Re: What metal alloys are used in standard keyboard?
Post by: Leopard223 on Sat, 29 May 2021, 06:16:14
what do you have now?
what's your preferences? stiff, soft, loud, quiet, etc...
might be able to save you some time & money....
I currently have the NK65EE and waiting for the R2 KBD67Lite GB, and thought about making different plates for them for experimenting. 
Iíll assume the NK65EE will not benefit much in terms of feel (flex/soft) so I thought about getting something stiff like POM or Brass, and for the KBD67Lite Iím looking to try Alu.
I havenít had the chance to use different plate materials aside for Alu, SS and PLA plate Iíve 3D printed.
Title: Re: What metal alloys are used in standard keyboard?
Post by: nevin on Sat, 29 May 2021, 13:21:11
NK65EE - hotswap - alu plate - Modified Top Mount
Modified Top Mount - Plate screws into top case, PCB screws into plate, and plate screws into the bottom case.

KBD67LITE R2 - hotswap - polycarb plate - gasket mount

- the KBD67LITE R2 should be quieter/softer than the NK65EE, just by plate material and mounting style alone.
- they're both hotswap, so half-plates are out.
- POM is a (soft) plastic material, won't be stiff.
- if anything, i'd try FR4, polycarb, pom, or some other softer non-metal plate for the NK65EE and see what you think, probably only difference will be in sound because of mounting.
- wait & try the KBD67LITE R2 before you order parts for it. it should be a noticeable difference from the NK65EE. just in materials and mounting style alone. if you want something stiffer, i'd try FR4 or one of the metal plates.
- any of the metals will be stiff & pretty pingy, stainless being the highest on that list.
Title: Re: What metal alloys are used in standard keyboard?
Post by: Leopard223 on Sun, 30 May 2021, 12:34:33
NK65EE - hotswap - alu plate - Modified Top Mount
Modified Top Mount - Plate screws into top case, PCB screws into plate, and plate screws into the bottom case.

KBD67LITE R2 - hotswap - polycarb plate - gasket mount

- the KBD67LITE R2 should be quieter/softer than the NK65EE, just by plate material and mounting style alone.
- they're both hotswap, so half-plates are out.
- POM is a (soft) plastic material, won't be stiff.
- if anything, i'd try FR4, polycarb, pom, or some other softer non-metal plate for the NK65EE and see what you think, probably only difference will be in sound because of mounting.
- wait & try the KBD67LITE R2 before you order parts for it. it should be a noticeable difference from the NK65EE. just in materials and mounting style alone. if you want something stiffer, i'd try FR4 or one of the metal plates.
- any of the metals will be stiff & pretty pingy, stainless being the highest on that list.
Thank you!
Title: Re: What metal alloys are used in standard keyboard?
Post by: Leslieann on Sun, 30 May 2021, 20:59:53
While stainless does ping more, ping comes from springs.
Treat the source you eliminate the symptom.

Lighter, uncoated springs tend to ping more, with Cherry and Kailh being the most prone to it.