The Value of an EMI Gasket and its Relationship to EMI Shielding

Electromagnetic interference is an energy that radiates from electronic or electrical equipment. Occurring in a range from 3kHz to 300 GHz qualifies it for another name: radio frequency interference, or RFI. As the demand for electronic equipment increases, EMI threats will naturally increase.

Controlling EMI with an EMI Gasket
EMI can result in equipment failure, so it is important for companies to manage equipment with protective gaskets. These gaskets fall under the category of shielding products, and they are primarily used as a medium that can provide electrical conductivity across a flange-gasket surface. As such, the gaskets serve a dual purpose. They protect electromagnetic damage from within devices, and also provide a shield from harmful external sources. Different industry sectors have their own set of safety standards for specific equipment.

Applications for an EMI Gasket
Gasket applications include, but are not limited to, the following processes: molding, die-cutting, extruding, and fabricating. EMI Shielding gaskets are also used in the following for the following applications, which include outdoor/indoor cellular/telecom base stations, computers, high-speed electronics, automotive control systems, military electronics, avionics, medical electronics, and communications systems of all types.

High-performance industry gaskets may also include solutions that address leakage control, minimizing noise or shock, vibration damping, rattle and squeak damping, pads and cushions, and virtually anything that needs a tight seal.

Gasket Materials That are EMI Conductive
Many protective materials are available for use by the military, electronics, communications, and aerospace industries. Such materials may be nickel coated and graphite filled, semi-conductive, flame retardant, silver-filled conductive, and silver plate copper particle filled to name several.

Metal-to-Metal Interfaces
Certain application require protecting joints and seams in in metal-to-metal interfaces. Even when there are discontinuities along metal surfaces, EMI shielding can help ensure conductivity where it counts.

For the world, electromagnetic compatibility EMC is becoming an increasingly important issue as society becomes increasingly device-intensive. Equipment radiation and equipment damage with respect to EMI is a critical issue. Consider that aircraft cockpits and hospitals are only two examples where equipment interference can never be acceptable, or permitted. The risks to human life are far too important to overlook in the slightest.

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