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Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog Blog

Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog

Elasto Proxy's Sealing Solutions Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about the design and custom fabrication of rubber and plastic components. For nearly 25 years, our family-owned company has provided high-quality, low-volume seals to a variety of industries. Doug Sharpe, Elasto Proxy's co-founder, is a former president of the International Sealing Distribution Association (ISD), a not-for-profit trade association that enhances member success through information, education, and interaction. By blogging for CR4 in this same supportive and collaborative spirit, Doug and other members of the Elasto Proxy team will share our experiences with you.

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EMI Gaskets for Electronic Devices and Equipment

Posted January 31, 2017 4:55 PM by Doug Sharpe

EMI gaskets help to protect electronic devices and equipment against disruptions and disturbances caused by electromagnetic interference (EMI). Because these shielding gaskets are made of particle-filled silicones, they also provide environmental sealing and resist a wide range of service temperatures. Depending on the durometer, the base elastomer supports varying degrees of compression. The metal or metal-coated particles provide EMI shielding and electrical conductivity.

Elasto Proxy custom-fabricates EMI gaskets for medical, military, mass transit, and many other applications, including aerospace. With our water jet cutting capabilities, we supply low-to-medium volume quantities of custom EMI gaskets with no tooling costs. In addition to flat connector gaskets, we manufacture EMI shielding gaskets from extruded materials. Water jet cutting isn’t just cost-effective. It’s also fast and precise, making it a great choice for prototypes.

EMI Gaskets and Your Application

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is caused by natural sources such as lighting and man-made sources such as motors, generators, and computer circuits. Power quality problems such as voltage sags and spikes can also cause EMI. Electronic devices and equipment for the defense industry face specific EMI challenges, too. For example, intentional EMI (IEMI) is a type of electronic warfare that can disrupt military electronics.

Mass transit systems such as railroads and railways may experience EMI because of application-specific problems such as emissions from train control and propulsion systems, high voltage contact switching, third rail shoes, and train signaling and control systems. Medical devices and equipment are susceptible to EMI from life support systems like ventilators and infusion pumps, patient telemetry and assistance equipment, X-ray machines, and the electrical and electronic equipment used in surgical units.

Shielding Gaskets That Meet Multiple Requirements

Many electronic designs need shielding materials that combine resistance to EMI with other application-specific requirements. For example, the EMI gaskets that are used in military touchscreens and industrial kiosks need to attenuate EMI emissions, provide electrical conductivity, and ensure environmental sealing. These shielding gaskets also must also cushion the unit from mechanical shock and be soft enough to avoid interfering with the display’s touch function.

The EMI shielding that’s used in automotive, aerospace, and medical electronics must meet multiple requirements, too. For example, an EMI gasket that’s used with commercial aircraft may need to resist the splash of jet fuel or cleaning agents. EMI gaskets that are used in medical devices must combine required levels of shielding with corrosion resistance. Shielding that’s used with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations or robotics may require compliance with UL 94 standards for flammability.

Shielding Silicones and Custom EMI Gaskets

Silicones have many desirable properties, but loading them with a high percentage of metal particles can make them hard and brittle. Filler costs can discourage the use of shielding silicones, too. For years, the filler material of choice was silver-aluminum. When silver rises in price, however, the fact that these elastomers are specified on gasket drawings and prints can become problematic. Pure silver-filled silicones increase EMI gasket costs, too.

Thanks to innovations in compounding, today’s shielding silicones are overcoming these obstacles. Elasto Proxy can custom-fabricate EMI gaskets from materials that are soft enough for enclosure gaskets, or that contain conductive reinforcing fabric for added strength. Elasto Proxy also fabricates EMI gaskets from compounds with cost-effective, non-silver materials with strong shielding performance. We can even fabricate shielding gaskets from UL 94 flame-resistant silicones and chemical-resistant fluorosilicones.

Learn More. Get the White Paper.

Do you need low-to-medium volume quantities of custom EMI gaskets for medical, military, mass transit, industrial, or other applications? Get the shielding gaskets that you need. For more information, download the EMI Gaskets for Multiple Design Requirements white paper.

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