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  #1  
Old 07-27-2015, 02:40 PM
Wonga Spar Wonga Spar is offline
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Default Keycaps Breaking? Anybody had any experience with this?

Hi,

My much-loved K70 RGB's keycaps started dropping like flies about 2 weeks ago, within the space of a couple days over 1/3 of all the keycaps on the board were literally crumbling under my fingers. The surprisingly thin edges of the grey plastic was evidently cracking and subsequently breaking off leading the caps to no longer sit on the switches.

After filling out an RMA ticket with Corsair they swiftly sent a full replacement set of keycaps, the overall experience was fantastic and I was incredibly grateful to have my keyboard up and running again very quickly.

A week later and to my horror 2 of the brand new replacement keycaps have crumbled in as many minutes. After quickly removing every single keycap from the keyboard to prevent others following, it's clear that many of the grey studs on the caps are indeed beginning to crack again.

I have absolutely no idea what the hell could be causing this, clearly it's not the keycaps as if two batches of caps were prone to breaking surely this issue would be more widely discussed, and I can't find anything about it online?

Has anybody had any experience with crumbling keycaps before? Assuming the keycaps are not the problem what on earth could be happening leading them to break so consistently? I don't consider myself a remotely heavy typist and play no games that involve 'mashing' or keys to be held down for any length of time.

Can anybody please offer any suggestions or insight the problem? Will Corsair possibly replace the board? I'm pretty worried right now as this board was damn expensive and replacing it would suck pretty bad. I'm reluctant to buy replacement keycaps as this will very likely just happen again.

Thanks,

Wonga
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  #2  
Old 07-27-2015, 03:26 PM
robert3892 robert3892 is offline
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I haven't found any evidence of this happening to anyone else so my advice to you would be to contact Corsair Tech support and explain in detail the situation to them. Maybe because of your particular typing style/strength the K70 is not a workable solution for you.
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  #3  
Old 07-27-2015, 03:29 PM
Wonga Spar Wonga Spar is offline
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Thanks for the response Robert,

I've thought this too but honestly I've been a very fluent touch-typist for about 6 years now and really can't say I think my typing is in any way forceful. Furthermore, the keys that have broken are keys that I've maybe touched 3 times since purchasing the board. Keys such as the INS-HOME-PAGE UP - DEL - END and the majority of the numpad I've rarely used and have still broken.
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  #4  
Old 07-27-2015, 06:53 PM
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Do you remove the keycaps using a key puller? If you don't remove keycaps properly you can end up damaging them. Also, do you do any work with chemicals that may still be on your hands while using your keyboard? I'm thinking either your keyboard is suffering from some sort of chemical reaction. Maybe there is some sort of biological agent eating the plastic? This is very odd and I have not seen keycaps damaged ever amongst my and my friends' keyboards (5 K95s total). I would look at all other plastics surrounding your computer to see if they are also experiencing rapid deterioration
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  #5  
Old 07-28-2015, 06:08 AM
Wonga Spar Wonga Spar is offline
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I've never pulled a cap off without the puller, and always do so with care so I'm pretty sure it's not that.

Very interesting you mentioned a chemical of sorts as that's what I started to consider myself. I don't work with any chemicals of any sort that could lead to something being left on the keyboard, but it does almost certainly seem like something is degrading the plastic over time. Should I just clean the board out with soapy water or something, and do you think this would void my warranty?
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  #6  
Old 07-28-2015, 12:01 PM
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I am not sure. I don't think cleaning the key caps in water should remove the warranty, but I am not sure. You'll have to hear from Corsair on that one.

Some microbes eat plastic. I'm not sure how to identify if this is the case or not, but if I were you I would try washing the key caps (after making sure it is within your warranty) following this guide. Also maybe try killing microbes by sanitizing the keyboard and keycaps.
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  #7  
Old 07-28-2015, 03:13 PM
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Yeah this sounds pretty strange. I'd guess its something environmental. Or maybe you just got really unlucky with a couple batches of caps that didn't get a good blend of plastic/resin.

Do you live somewhere with excessive heat, humidity, or salt in the air (coastal)? Do you smoke? Any ultraviolet lights nearby?
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2015, 09:40 AM
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Sorry to rez this thread, but is your keyboard in direct sunlight at all? Sometimes plastics do not work out well in direct sun for long periods of time (and perhaps the replacements were also stored in the sun before being shipped?). Otherwise, this is sounding like a material failure; but given that you are alone in this, it might be something in your environment that isn't appreciated by your keys!

Even things like hand lotion, or other chemical that might somehow get in there (it's a super long-shot, obviously, especially since they are keys seldom used). Anyway, while it's a P.I.T.A. for you, it's a great mystery to solve, nonetheless!
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  #9  
Old 10-29-2015, 01:43 PM
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Corsair Henry Corsair Henry is offline
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This is the first time i have heard of this. I still have the first edition K70 with brushed aluminum back plate and the keys are still good. Can you take a picture of the "crumbling" key caps and attach it here?

My Money is with myrkat, as direct sunlight does deteriorate plastic.
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  #10  
Old 01-23-2016, 12:34 AM
Armpit Armpit is offline
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I just had my third keycap break on me today. Very annoying and the odd thing is they're breaking randomly even on keys that almost never get used (like the Pause/Break key or the period key on the numeric pad) so it doesn't seem to be use related. I don't clean the keyboard and I haven't really pulled any of these keycaps off before so I have no idea what is going on.
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  #11  
Old 01-23-2016, 04:17 AM
Falkentyne Falkentyne is offline
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Can you please explain what you mean by 'keycap breaking'?
is the HOUSING of the CAP breaking? Or the STEM of the cap (the female + hole) that inserts into the "male" stem of the actual mechanical switch? Because I think everyone here is confused by what you are saying here. Keycaps don't break unless the cap is dropped. Stems do.

Are you using O-Rings? (please don't lie about this).
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  #12  
Old 01-23-2016, 01:02 PM
MarcSB MarcSB is offline
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I think I have the same problem as the OP but with an older version of the k70.

1 year ago some of my keycaps started to break, i made a ticket to get a replacement... after months of waiting and a lost parcel i got them, but.... other keycaps are also breaking (like 6-7 already, one of them today) and my warranty is over (+2 years).

Too bad they are using such a bad plastic material.... I really did nothing special with the keycaps, no o-rings, nothing droped, cleaned them with a bit of water.

photo with a broken keycap:
http://imgur.com/SCwTIIt

Guess I'll have to buy another keyboard...
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  #13  
Old 01-23-2016, 01:28 PM
Armpit Armpit is offline
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The stems (on the key cap, not the keyboard switch) crack and break, the switch post is fine and the key works but the key cap just falls off with bits and pieces of the stem left behind. And no, I do not use O-rings or anything like that, and the keyboard is not exposed to direct sunlight ever.
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  #14  
Old 01-28-2016, 06:33 AM
Falkentyne Falkentyne is offline
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Ah, that is a problem with the OEM that makes the keycaps.
Corsair and Logitech use the same OEM for the keycaps. The stems this OEM uses are thinner than normal, compared to stems used from other keycap makers. I compared the K70 (when I had one) and G710+ keycaps with those from a Ducky keyboard and the stems were noticeably thicker and more durable on the ducky. There were places on the Corsair and Logitech stems where the plastic was extremely thin in an area, which could be prime game for a stress fracture. This makes the stem far less durable to uneven pressing or friction than normal stems and makes them more prone to break. The problem is even worse if you have O rings installed (which is what caused even more Logitech G710+'s to fail with the stem cracking, as they come with O rings). Corsair really needs to change OEM's or have their supplier improve the quality of the stems. Even if not too many people had problems, keycaps stems should never break just from normal use.
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  #15  
Old 01-28-2016, 07:31 AM
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Maybe try some o rings. This should help the keycaps from not bottoming out and hitting the base. With the o rings this should dampen the impact and should help them from not cracking. Maybe give that a try?
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