In sensitive applications such as medical electronics, mass transit systems, and vehicular control systems, electromagnetic interference (EMI) can have devastating consequences. Shielding products, therefore, must be able to provide reliable, long-lasting protection in order to prevent EMI from damaging and disrupting electrical devices and equipment.
Closely related to EMI is electrostatic discharge (ESD), a sudden flow of electricity between two charged objects caused by factors that may include a short or a breakdown. ESD grounding is necessary to prevent this discharge, which can have disastrous, life-threatening effects similar to those of EMI.
EMI Shielding Solutions
A wide range of EMI shielding solutions — which encompass ESD grounding solutions — are available to help ensure optimal reliability and safety; specific products, such as conductive elastomers for low closure force gasketing, as well as conductive tapes and laminates, can be integrated into electrical systems to provide protection. All of these solutions are quick and easy to implement.
EMI gaskets, flexible metal screens, wires, and foams all serve as effective seals to protect electrical systems from their surrounding environments. And unlike the metal sheets that were once used for EMI gaskets, modern-day gaskets resist deformation under the pressures of sealing and often include elastomers for enhanced shielding performance.
Conductive elastomers — fully cured silicones or fluorosilicones comprised of highly conductive particles — simultaneously provide EMI shielding and environmental sealing for dust and water. Conductive fillers ensure compatibility among electric currents and offer low contact resistance among various surfaces. Additionally, these elastomers remain in shape in demanding applications, allowing for longer lifespans and reduced costs. They’re also tear-resistant and often come with the option of adhesive backing, making for easy installation. Offering a wide range of benefits for manufacturers and system operators alike, conductive elastomers have become increasingly popular in EMI shielding applications.
EMI Tapes and Fabric Over Foam Solutions
At Robert McKeown Company, Inc. (RMC), we offer several lines of Parker Chomerics products, including fabric over foam (fof) EMI solutions and CHO-FOIL® tapes.
CHO-FOIL® tapes fall under the conductive tape and laminate category, offering a cost-effective EMI shielding and ESD grounding solution for a broad range of commercial applications. Available in the most popular shielding materials, including many variations of copper, aluminum, and nickel-plated fabric, these tapes also offer aesthetic benefits. The embossed version of CHO-FOIL® copper tape, in particular, provides a sleek, modern aesthetic. Strong yet lightweight, this tape is corrosion-resistant and engineered to be highly conductive while remaining sensitive to pressure. These characteristics enhance its shielding performance and make it ideal for most EMI shielding and grounding applications.
Innovative fabric over foam products, meanwhile, provide reliable shielding from electromagnetic fields in the radio frequency spectrum that can severely harm electrical systems. Parker Chomerics’ fabric over foam products are constructed of either conductivity-plated fabric or wire mesh fitted over low closure urethane foam. Allowing for simple installation, these solutions have excellent compressibility, require fewer fasteners, and feature self-terminating gaskets.
For more information on EMI shielding products and ESD grounding solutions, and to discuss how they can help protect your critical electrical systems, reach out to the expert team at Robert McKeown today.