EMI / RFI shielding: what it does and why it’s important

EMI, or electromagnetic interference, and RFI, or radio-frequency interference, are both types of electromagnetic radiation. EMI is emitted by electronic devices and can interfere with the proper functioning of other electronic devices, while RFI is emitted by radio waves and can interfere with radio signals.

EMI and RFI shielding is a process of enclosing electronic devices in a material that absorbs or reflects electromagnetic radiation to protect the devices from interference.

It can prevent everything from minor crackling during broadcasting to deadly malfunctions in aircraft safety equipment. If left unmitigated, it can disrupt the essential functions of electronic devices or erase or damage data. Even satellites in space need to be shielded from EMI/FRI to function properly.

Common sources of EMI/RFI include cell phones, microwaves, power lines and computer circuits. There are all natural causes of these signals such as auroras, solar flares or lightning.

EMI / RFI shielding

What is EMI / RFI shielding, and what does it do?

EMI/RFI shielding is a process or material used to protect electronic equipment from EMI and RFI. EMI/RFI shielding can protect against various sources, including radio waves, microwaves, and electrical currents.

EMI/RFI shielding creates a barrier between the electronic equipment and the source of interference. This barrier can be made with a variety of materials.

Materials used for EMI/RFI shielding

For EMI/RFI shielding, a variety of materials can be employed. The following are the most frequent materials:

  • Metals
  • Conductive plastics
  • Carbon-loaded plastics
  • Conductive coatings
  • Metal mesh

Metals are the most common material used for EMI/RFI shielding. They are effective because they reflect and absorb electromagnetic radiation.

Importance of EMI / RFI shielding in electronic devices

EMI/RFI shielding is essential in electronic devices because it can help to reduce or eliminate interference that can lead to errors, data loss, and equipment damage. Shielding can also help improve electronic device performance by reducing interference from outside sources.

EMI/RFI shielding creates a barrier between the electronic equipment and the source of interference. This barrier is produced with various materials, including metals, conductive plastics, and special coatings.

How to choose the right EMI / RFI shielding for your needs

When choosing EMI/RFI shielding for your electronic devices, it is vital to consider the type of interference you are trying to protect against, the level of protection you need, and the environment in which the electronic devices will be used.

Some EMI/RFI shielding types, such as metal shielding, can block a wide range of frequencies. However, metal shielding can also block signals you may want to receive, such as radio waves. In addition, metal shielding can interfere with the proper functioning of some electronic devices.

Other EMI/RFI shielding types, such as conductive plastics and special coatings, can be customized to block specific frequencies while allowing others to pass through. These materials can also be used in various environments, including wet or humid ones.

Common applications for EMI / RFI shielding

EMI/RFI shielding is used in a variety of industries, including:

  • Automotive
  • Aerospace
  • Telecommunications
  • Medical
  • Mass transit systems
  • Navigation and vehicular control systems

Keep your electronics interference-free

If you’re looking for ways to protect your electronic devices from interference, look no further than EMI and RFI shielding. Enclosed devices in a material designed to absorb or reflect electromagnetic radiation to keep them functioning correctly. At A&J we use a .140 diameter tubular gasket (210-1130) that is added to the extrusion grooves and consists of a silicone inner core that is plated with silver / aluminum for the seams between the frame members that are joined together.

Our enclosures are attenuated to 60 DB from 150 Hz to 1 million Hz and 40 DB from 1-2 million Hz in accordance with MIL-STD-461G for EMI/RFI shielding. Our team of professionals can help you determine the type of shielding your rack or enclosure needs and install it quickly and efficiently. Contact us today!

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