Getting the Most From Your Shields

When working with EMI or RFI it is important to take steps to protect the field. Most commonly you will find people using some form of shielding gasket for their protection. There are certain factors that come along with RFI and EMI, and it is important to know how to deal with these issues: you need to have solutions for management.

  • You want your EMI/RFI components to be tied to true ground.
  • A Faraday Cage is a great way to deal with these transmitting components.
  • ­­­When dealing with a big area inside a cabinet, you will want a gasket that comes with one of two special features. You want a gasket made of compressible metal springs, or you want one made with conductive rubber.
  • Put blackened, mesh-like film over any glass that needs to be on your shield. Having no window is preferable in terms of protecting the EMI/RFI signal. There is a need for a window at times.
  • A great way to deal with minor leakage of EMI or RFI is to use a strong conductive caulk. This should take care of the issue.
  • The only real proven way to deal with heat given off is with surface ventilation holes placed at the top of the device.

These factors, as well as a few left off the list, are some of the more important factors that leads to negative effects on shielding. Shielding issues arise in many different ways, so you must know what different things to look for and do.

For instance, if you need to remove more heat from devices inside the shield you can do a couple of things.

  • You can add more vent holes and you can place fans outside your EMI/RFI shielding. This is only an option for keepings things warm. There isn't enough power with this method to fully cool what needs to be cooled. Getting a high-power chip will help to regulate temperature much more consistently.
  • There are also solutions to be found when first constructing your shield. Thermal components are used to construct the devices, which helps regulating the system temperature.

When it comes to a shielding gasket or RFI shield, it is partially the responsibility of the owner/operator to know how to best use the machines. There are a lot of factors that can affect RFI/EMI. Know what machines to get and know how to use them properly.