RFI/EMI Shielding-What is it?Randy Mitchell
RFI/EMI Shielding-What is it? RFI Shielding is essentially blocking radiofrequency electromagnetic signals in the radio frequency band of the electromagnetic spectrum. Left unchecked, these signals can disrupt the electrical circuits from working properly. Basically, RFI shielding involves the placement of barriers made of conductive and magnetic materials around the device, allowing it to function optimally. The name “shielding” means completely isolating the susceptible parts from the source of the RFI. The Effectiveness of the shielding depends on properties of the shielding material and the design of the “shield”. Obviously, a “total shield” is better than one with weak or unshielded areas.
RFI/ EMI Shielding-What is it? Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) occurs when electromagnetic waves of any frequency disturb the proper functioning of electronic devices. Think of RFI being a “subset” of EMI as RFI occurs largely in the 3KHz -300 GHz band of the electromagnetic spectrum and EMI includes interference from any part of the electromagnetic spectrum. EMI and RFI are often used interchangeably, but EMI is the more common term.
RFI/EMI Shielding-What is it? Shielding Solutions can involve many materials depending on engineering requirements. Engineers are usually looking for compact, lightweight solutions for fuel efficiency. Conductive metalized textiles are ideal for EMI/RFI shielding applications and involve Nickel, Copper, Gold, Silver and Carbon. The textiles involved are nylon, polyester, cotton, and silk. Faraday Cages are used in low frequency EMI mitigation but don’t perform the best in high frequency situations, as size of the “cage holes” must be less than one tenth of the wavelength of the EMI wave to be blocked. Solid metal Faraday enclosures have no holes and provide a better high frequency range of EMI shielding, but don’t allow the ventilation that the holes provide. Faraday enclosures require grounding to eliminate electric shock. VTT can assist you in creating the best RF/EMI shielding solution for you!
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