The Science of Shielding

Across the globe, electronic components, devices, and equipment are required to meet EMC regulations. Most electronic devices produce a certain level of electromagnetic interference or EMI. Without the proper shielding, these devices would interfere with each other and cause malfunctions. The electronic radiation moves through the air and interferes with many different types of equipment. The science of EMI is closely related to the study of sound waves and radiation, so to protect devices from interference, components must be properly shielded.

Circuits should always be designed with the intent of minimizing amounts of electromagnetic radiation and interference. They should also be designed to withstand radiation that is emanating from another piece of equipment. Often, the circuit design alone is insufficient for filtering out all EMI, so an additional electromagnetic shield is commonly used. All circuits produce EMI by rapidly changing signals. To limit this, shielding is used as a conductive barrier that covers an electrical circuit. An ideal shield would be a solid, continuous material that has no openings.

All electromagnetic radiation travels in a wave. The shielding gasket needs to be able to block the wave from disrupting the component that it is protecting. Shielding is known as the process of limiting all electromagnetic radiation waves from reaching a functional circuit and emanating out of an electric device. EMI shielding gaskets are placed between the shield housing and the mating surface of the electronic device. In this position they can properly block the incoming and outgoing waves of EMI radiation.

RFI radiation, or radio frequency interference, is also an electronic emission that can disrupt a component. Shielding of RFI radiation helps to block electromagnetic radiation from one circuit to another through the process of separating each circuit with a conductive layer of material. Gaskets are used for RFI shielding in the medical and aerospace sectors. Each gasket has to be made out of 100 percent metal, or else the gasket will fail.

The faster circuits get, the more difficult it is to control EMI radiation emission and susceptibility, so it is highly important that shielding gaskets keep up with the progressive technology. If you are interested in learning more about shielding gaskets, or want to use one in a specific component, it is best to contact a local professional in the region. A professional can help decide which type of shielding is the most appropriate for your need.

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