Vandalism protection

Basics of vandalism protection

In all public areas, various external influences can cause extreme force to be exerted on a device installed there. But it also makes sense to use vandalism protection in industrial plants to avoid excessive wear under the often very harsh working conditions. Because vandalism security does not only mean protection against willful destruction, but offers many advantages in terms of durability and resilience.


Areas at risk of vandalism

In principle, using vandal-proof input devices makes sense in all areas where the control element is in a publicly accessible area, it is exposed to the weather or it is subjected to strong mechanical stress. Therefore, vandal-proof input systems can be found in the following applications, among others:


  • ATM machines
  • Elevators and escalators
  • Payment terminals and ticket machines for car parks, train stations etc.
  • Self-service petrol stations
  • Access controls, intercoms and bells
  • Information terminals in public areas or in museums
  • Kiosk systems and many other public locations
  • In the maritime sector due to the resistance to salt and fog
  • Machine operation, e.g. in milling and machining centers
  • Control rooms and many other industrial locations


These were just a few examples of possible use cases for vandal-proof keyboards and keypads. For us, vandalism protection means protection against moisture, ice and hail, heavy pollution, extremely high and low temperatures, oils, acids, strong mechanical loads and last but not least, of course, against the effects of violence in the form of beating, kicking, tearing and scratching.


IK shock resistance

The IK degree of protection is a measure of the resistance of housings of electrical devices to mechanical shock loads. The IK code is internationally standardized according to IEC 62262 (with reference to EN 50102) and is equivalent to the European standard EN 62262. The IK code is used, among other things, for switches, housings or keyboards. The IK degree of protection is tested with a pendulum hammer, alternatively up to IK07 with a spring hammer or from IK07 with a free-fall hammer. There are ten types of protection that indicate the impact energy the device can withstand from the outside:


  • Degree of protection IK00 - no shock resistance
  • Degree of protection IK01 to IK05 - between 0.15 and 0.7 joules maximum impact energy
  • Degree of protection IK06 - 1 joule impact energy
  • Degree of protection IK07 - 2 joules impact energy
  • Degree of protection IK08 - 5 joules impact energy
  • Degree of protection IK09 - 10 joules impact energy
  • Degree of protection IK10 - 20 joules impact energy

The following video shows an IK09 shock test on the Printec-DS test bench:

Measures to protect against vandalism

To protect against vandalism and other environmental influences, the design of electrical devices and operating parts is adapted to the corresponding expected loads. This is achieved by using robust, heat and impact resistant materials for the housing and the exposed parts, and is tested using various tests. The IK shock resistance test is of the greatest relevance, but vandalism protection is usually accompanied by dust and water resistance, which is measured and determined according to the IP protection class.

In order to ensure a high level of tightness of the device, the non-water and dust-resistant components are kept dry and clean by various measures. This can be done by sealing the individual components, for example by coating the circuit board with silicone or protecting it with a silicone mat, or the degree of IP protection is achieved by sealing the housing, which means that the components inside the housing remain inevitably protected.


Vandalism protection in our devices

For all our vandal-proof keyboards and keypads, we only use impact-resistant stainless steel keycaps that are held in place from the inside of the front panel so that you cannot pull them out with tools. We also manufacture the front panel in front of it from a robust 3mm stainless steel sheet in order to achieve resistance to impacts and kicks. With our housing versions, this naturally applies to the entire chassis. The symbols on the keycaps are either abrasion-resistant and, if desired, salt-fog resistance, or even cut out with a laser and back-molded completely tight, which enables the symbols to be backlit. An internal and all-round seal in combination with a silicone mat behind the keycaps enables a high degree of water and dust protection.

Last but not least, our keyboards are put to the test and have to meet the highest quality standards. Here our models consistently achieve the degree of protection IK09 and IP65.


Related Links

EN 62262 (Wikipedia explanation)

Vandal-resistant switch (Wikipedia explanation)



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