What Is EMI Shielding and Why Is It Important? 1

EMI, or electromagnetic interference, is a fancy-sounding acronym that can have devastating consequences. These are some words that no electrical engineer wants to hear during his design stage. From simple noise generation in the signal to the failure of life-threatening mission-critical equipment, EMI can become the reason for many forms of electrical failures.

Military, aerospace electronics, medical, mass transit systems, industrial touch screens, and navigation are some scenarios where EMI can have unwanted results and severely affect the outcomes. And sometimes, these outcomes lead to the loss of lives.

EMI Shielding

So what’s the solution to the problems of EMI? The answer is Electromagnetic Interference shielding.

Product designers and engineers have been struggling to find ways to curb the effect of EMI noise. To do it effectively, they have been using shields or EMI shielding, to be specific.

So What is EMI Shielding

Shields are specially engineered mechanical devices designed to block interference when layered around devices. These shields work in two ways. First, they protect the internal devices from external interference or noise. And secondly, they protect the external equipment or devices from noise by blocking the device’s signals inside the shields.

Apart from this barrier-based physical shielding, there are circuit designs. Circuits are also designed in a way that helps to reduce the electromagnetic interference produced. But this circuit design is not enough on its own. This is when solid shielding comes into play.

The starting and basic EMI shields are prepared from metal sheets, forming into the desired shape. The main problem with this approach was the lack of stability of the thin metal sheets. They could easily bend, and these deformed sheets do not retain the same shielding performance.

The modern-day shielding apparatuses are sophisticated. They are still made from metal, but the metal is manufactured and fabricated to retain the flexibility of the metal even under extreme conditions. Screens, wires, and metal foams have replaced the thin sheets. Another element that helps in shielding is silicone. It is an excellent insulator and sealer. When metal shields are fused with silicone, the shielding can take the insulator’s dual role and a sealer. This property is demanded in extreme conditions where standard screens or metal foam don’t perform as required.

It is Important

EMI Shielding has become important in many areas of our lives. For example, it is used in the telecom industry because radio transmissions hamper a signal’s reception by a recipient of the signs near the same frequency. Having a properly integrated EMI Shielding solution will prevent incorrect frequencies from interfering.

Medical equipment must be completely shielded from the effects of RF devices, including phones, tablets, and other electrical equipment. Without some form of shielding, the results could lead to life-threatening situations.