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All About Shielding Gaskets

By CRGI on

shielding gasketsElectromagnetic and Radio Frequency Interference (EMI and RFI, respectively) can disrupt the functioning of electronic devices, equipment, and systems that are used in critical applications. These include devices and systems used in medical, military, energy, aerospace and industrial control applications; mass transit and rail systems; and navigation and vehicular control systems.

EMI/RFI results from multiple causes, including those originating from man-made and natural sources. When sensitive electronics are exposed to undesirable EMI/RFI signals, instability, interruption or outright failure of a device is likely to result.

How can electronic devices be protected from undesirable EMI/RFI?

Electronic devices and systems can be protected from unwanted EMI/RFI through the use of shielding gaskets. Shielding gaskets can be installed on electrical circuits and enclosures to isolate electronic components and block the transmission of damaging EMI/RFI signals.

How do shielding gaskets work?

Shielding gaskets are mechanical seals that work by creating a conductive path between two surfaces, preventing the transmission of EMI/RFI signals that can disrupt or destroy electrical circuits. Traditionally, shielding gaskets were fabricated from metal sheets that were formed to fit electronic housings or enclosures. Today, shielding gaskets are fabricated from a variety of flexible materials, including conductive elastomers, foams and sponges, as well as metal screens and wires.

How are shielding gaskets made?

Shielding gaskets can be made using a variety of production techniques, including die, rotary and CNC cutting, hand fabrication, and molding and extrusion. CNC cutting of shielding gaskets allows for the fast production of simple and complex geometry parts, as well as avoiding the tooling costs associated with either die/rotary cutting or molding/extrusion. Hand fabrication is generally used where specialized techniques such as laminating, splicing, or bonding must be employed. Rotary cutting, as well as molding and extrusion, are preferred when very high production volumes are required.

What materials does CRG use to fabricate shielding gaskets?

CRG employs a wide variety of materials to produce custom cut shielding gaskets. Materials that we use include the following:

  • CRG conductive elastomer. Conductive silicones that meet the requirements of the MIL-G-83528 specification.
  • CRG oriented wire in silicone gasket material. This material is a combination EMI shield and environmental pressure seal. Available in solid silicone, fluorosilicone, or sponge silicone binder.
  • CRG combination gasket material. Gaskets made from this material combine bonding mesh in parallel with an environmental sealing strip. The knitted mesh can be made from Monel®, SnCuFe (tin plated, copper-clad steel), or aluminum wire.
  • CRG knitted wire mesh. These materials consist of an elastomeric core with knotted wire mesh or knitted wire mesh over. Available in neoprene, sponge, silicone sponge, or solid silicone tubing.
  • CRG conductive foam. This material consists of a closed cell foam core wrapped with a plated fabric. Gaskets made from this material have excellent shielding effectiveness, high durability, low compression set, and low resistance.

What should I look for in a shielding gasket supplier?

Firstly, because many applications are critical in nature, buyers should always look for gaskets that are made from high-quality shielding materials. Not only will these materials meet any required specifications, they will also prove to more reliable in fully blocking EMI/RFI signals while providing greater durability than their cheaper counterparts.

Secondly, buyers should choose an experienced and knowledgeable supplier who will take the time understand their needs and recommend the most effective solution for their application. This will ensure that the final part works as intended in the target application.

Finally, it will always be beneficial to work with a reputable supplier who uses the latest production techniques in a controlled environment, such as an ISO 9001-certified facility. These suppliers will produce gaskets that are consistent in quality, fit and function, while offering responsive service and support.

For EMI/RFI shielding gaskets, CRG is your preferred source of supply. Our relationships with leading material suppliers ensures the use of only the highest quality materials, while our advanced production processes and ISO 9001:2015 quality management system assure final part quality. We can produce shielding gaskets that will service applications in medical, military, aerospace, automotive and mass transit, navigation, and general industrial. For further information on how CRG can service your shielding gasket needs, please contact our sales team at crg@canadarubbergroup.com.