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 just some scenarios where EMI can have unwanted results and severely affect the outcomes. And sometimes, these outcomes lead to the loss of lives.
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 so that they block the interference when layered around devices. These shields work in two ways. First, they protect the internal devices from external interferences or noise. And secondly, they protect the external equipment or devices from noise by blocking the device’s signals placed 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 in to play.
The starting and basic EMI shields are prepared from metal sheets, which are then formed into the shape desired. 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 level of 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. The thin sheets have been replaced by screens, wires, and metal foams. 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 is a property 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 signals 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.