Why Is EMI Shielding Still Relevant In Modern Design?

Before launching into an explanation of why modern designs can benefit from EMI shielding, let’s take a closer look at the definition of EMI shielding itself. EMI stands for Electromagnetic Interference. It can disrupt systems, equipment, and electronic devices used in many critical applications. Some of these applications include the following:

  • Vehicle control systems
  • Navigation systems
  • Industrial touchscreens
  • Mass transit systems
  • Aerospace, military, and medical electronics
  • … and many more

Shielding lowers electromagnetic radiation, lessens signal impact, and reduces electrical noise. Example: Though, between cables that are close to each other, shielding can prevent “crosstalk”. It can protect both people and machinery, as well.

There are numerous causes of EMI including both natural and man-made sources. What results from EMI can range from loss of life or system failure to temporary data loss and mere disturbances. So, you can see why, whenever possible, EMI shielding would be used.

EMI Shielding Awareness for Engineers

In the application environment, how EME (electronic energy) can cause interference is something that is crucial for engineers to recognize. Adequate protection against electromagnetic fields may be lacking if, for example, gasket design is not appropriate due to a lack of basic EMI awareness.

The Origins of EMI

There are two major categories under which EMI sources can be divided, in general. These are as follows:

  • Power quality problems
  • Ambient EMI

Also facing specific challenges of their own are military applications, medical equipment, mass transit, and railroad systems. Representing an increasing threat to nonmilitary assets, IEMI (intentional EMI) can affect critical infrastructures such as the power grid.

Today’s EMI Shielding Providers

To assure electrical conductivity and affective EMI shielding, adequate metal filter is contained in today’s newer shielding materials, unlike shielding elastomers of old. What’s more, reliable, cost-effective fabrication is supported by these conductive silicones.

  • Particle filled silicones, during gasket cutting, won’t become deformed or stretch.
  • Greater tear resistance is supported by the material’s structural properties, connector holes align properly, and much more.
  • For ease of application, the use of an adhesive backing can also be specified by product designers.
  • Supporting the use of electrically conductive adhesives, particle filled silicones can be used for shielding applications where the requirement of Z-axis conductivity is present.

For added strength, reinforcement is required for some EMI gasket applications. So, various nickel graphite, higher-durometer silicones are available. For added material strength and conductivity, an inner layer of conductive fabric can reinforce nickel graphite, lower-durometer silicones. During EMI gasket fabrication, this helps to prevent tearing and brittleness.

EMI (and RFI) Conductive Coatings – The Benefits

Among other things, conductivity is a highly sought-after aspect of EMI shielding coating. The use of these conductive coatings is beneficial for the following reasons:

  • Point-to-point resistivity is exceptional.
  • Nickel, copper, or graphite can be used, thereby offering pricing flexibility.
  • RFI coatings offer significant abrasion resistance, at contact points in particular.
  • A huge advantage is the ability to apply a uniform thickness because the coating can be easily controlled.
  • Offers consistent and reliable electromagnetic conductivity.
  • Including humidity and salt spray, environmental conditions are better withstood (protected against) by coatings such as EMI and RFI.

Where Can You Go for EMI Shielding?

A&A Coatings provides EMI shielding, RFI shielding, and other coating solutions used by industries needing to discourage electromagnetic interference, guard against radio frequency interference, and other electrical conductivity aspects. For the electronics, telecommunications, and medical industries, as well as numerous others, we offer a wide array of application methods for various protective coatings. If you’d like to find out what EMI shielding coatings or other modern, thermal sprayed coatings can do for your company – and how they’re probably already used in your industry – contact one of our knowledgeable representatives today at A&A Coatings.

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