13 Feb EMI Shielding Fingerstock Gasket Mounting Options—An Overview
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can affect the operation of electronic devices used in critical applications such as those found in the aerospace, telecommunications, and medical industries. EMI shielding fingerstock gaskets are one of the most common methods used to protect electronic devices from EMI. They are available in a variety of options to suit many types of applications. In this article, we discuss the various fingerstock gasket mounting options.
What Is an EMI Fingerstock Gasket? What Is It Used For?
EMI fingerstock gaskets are contact strips that close gaps between surfaces in electronic equipment, medical devices, and any other products that need to be shielded from electromagnetic interference. Fingerstock gaskets are used in spaces that can’t handle soldering or laser welding and can be manufactured in a diverse range of profiles. EMI fingerstocks gaskets work in a number of different applications and work well in different environments, including high temperatures. These gaskets can be designed to be lightweight and put minimal pressure on joints, to ensure high performance per your specifications.
Fingerstock Gasket Mounting Options
Fingerstock gaskets are usually made in strips or in continuous coils to be cut to length. Engineers can help develop the right gasket to fit your application where EMI RFI shielding is required. Once the specifications of the gasket have been selected, there are different mounting options available to perfectly fit the application.
Clip-on mounts are appropriate when the application has a flange that is accessible to mount the gasket on. Engineers can design a clip-on that can accommodate various thicknesses and different shapes. These clip-on mounts are simply slid onto the edge or the flange.
Stick-on mounting uses double-sided pressure-sensitive tape for installation. The tape does need to cure after being applied, but this product can generally withstand temperatures from -55° to +121° C. It’s important to check that the surface is clean when applied.
Snap-on Mounting is often used in applications that move, such as sliding doors or drawers. They are easy to install and can be designed to fit many different spaces.
In applications with extrusions that require EMI shielding, shielding strips can be designed around the extrusion to provide a useful free height. There are many ways to customize the shielding strips to fit your exact application.
Track mounting either adds to the application’s structure to make mounting a gasket less intrusive or track mounting rises and falls with the shape of the structure where the gasket will be applied. Plastic rivets can be used to hold the mount to the device.
Fingerstock gaskets aren’t limited to these mounting procedures. Engineers can design a custom mount to fit the regulations and specifications of any application using a variety of techniques listed here, along with spot welding and soldering.
What About Fingerstock Gasket Shielding Materials?
The most common EMI fingerstock gaskets are manufactured using beryllium copper (BeCu) foil, but stainless steel can also be used. When comparing the two material choices, BeCu offers high electrical conductivity and attenuation. It resists corrosion and is moisture resistant. BeCu has a long life and can be fabricated into many types of components. While stainless steel is often more economical, it falls short because it doesn’t have the same characteristics as BeCu. Stainless steel cannot be used in applications where high attenuation is required. The use of stainless steel is more limited than BeCu, but it can work in low profile strips.
The shielding materials are meant to fit in the gaps between surfaces. There are many ways to fit the material to the gaps in your application, whether those gaps occur from misalignment of surfaces, irregular shapes, or even fabrication tolerances. Compression management can give you the best shielding when you select the right EMI fingerstock gaskets to meet your specifications. You may also want to look into custom options if the standard mounting options aren’t going to meet your needs.
EMI Shielding Strips Cater to Your Application
Each application is different with its own challenges and requirements. EMI shielding mounting options and materials may seem like a small part of the device, but they do a big job in protecting the equipment. Tech-Etch manufactures a complete line of standard and custom EMI fingerstock gaskets that are RoHS compliant.
As the exclusive dealer of Tech Etch products in Canada, The ID Group’s knowledgeable team can help you select the right fingerstock gasket for your application. We also offer other complementary EMI RFI shielding products and custom-cutting services for all your project needs. Contact us, we’ll be happy to assist you.