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Protecting Sensitive Circuits With Converted Shielding Materials

To eliminate electronic inference from one electronic device to another, Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) shields suppress internal signals and protect devices from outside signals. As the number of electrical devices in any workplace increases, protecting sensitive electronic devices becomes a significant concern in every industry.

Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) works to prevent issues such as EMI by correcting the operation of electronic devices that produce unintentional or potentially disruptive electromagnetic energy. EMC addresses three different types of problems: 

  • Emission: EMC works to address electromagnetic energy emitted and develop countermeasures to reduce unnecessary or harmful electromagnetic energy. 
  • Susceptibility and Immunity: Susceptibility refers to the breakdown over time usually seen in electronic devices exposed to RFI. Immunity is the devices' ability to withstand RFI and continue standard functionality.
  • Coupling: Coupling works to study how the EMI/RFI is reaching the affected device. 

Electromagnetic Interference and Radio Frequency Interference refer to different types of electronic-based interference produced by different types of devices. 

  • Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) is produced by either non-radio electronics or other electronics and radio devices that do not receive EMI frequencies.
  • Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) is produced in electrical devices such as laptops, radios, and televisions that transmit and receive frequencies. 

Electromagnetic shielding uses conductive or magnetic materials to block the field of electromagnetic energy in a given space—shielding designed to isolate electrical devices from their surroundings and minimize disruption from outside electromagnetic interruption.

There are two categories of electromagnetic interference, Narrowband EMI or RFI interference and Broadband EMI and RFI interference. Narrowband interference is emitted from intended transmissions from electronic devices such as radios and TV stations, and mobile phones. Broadband interference stems from unintentional radiation from sources like power lines.

EIS assists electronic engineers in complying with EMI/RFI shielding requirements for increased product functionality and protecting sensitive digital circuits from external EMI sources and containing emissions from the device. EIS often engineers the best customer solutions by using multiple top suppliers and techniques.

Devices that can benefit from the additional protection of EMI/RFI Shielding include medical equipment, radios, computers, control components, and many other electronic devices that emit or can be affected by electrical waves. Materials that constitute EMI/RFI Shielding include electrical tape with aluminum and copper backings for grounding, bonding, and EMI shielding. Conductive and non-conductive adhesive systems are available.

EIS offers a wide range of EMI shielding converted materials, and RFI shielding converted materials from such world leaders as Specialty Silicone Products, Laird, 3M™, and Chomerics. These materials are die-cut into shapes or laminated to other products to meet the application's requirements, including a range of thermal management and electrical insulation properties. Common EMI/RFI materials include:

  • Foil tapes 
  • Metal-filled elastomers
  • Copper foil tapes 
  • Conductive fabrics laminated with conductive adhesives
  • Absorbing materials and pads