10 Jan 10 EMI Honeycomb Vent Design Features
EMI shielding is the use of materials and manufacturing to protect electronic devices and to avoid disruptions to the signals in critical applications. Engineers rely on many different types of EMI shielding, including EMI honeycomb vents which are one popular method to protect telecom and medical devices. Honeycomb vents not only provide EMI shielding, but they can increase airflow around the elements in the device and help control the noise of the motors. In this article, we will review the ten important features to consider when designing EMI honeycomb vents.
What Are EMI Shielding Honeycomb Vents?
EMI RFI shielding is an element incorporated into a device where EMI or heat interference is a concern. EMI shielding honeycomb vents are elements designed to look like a honeycomb, but they’re made of an alloy or metal. Incorporating different design features into the honeycomb can improve performance of a device and make sure the device doesn’t fail at critical points.
Why do you need to use them?
EMI honeycomb vents are used in applications that need EMI shielding and airflow to reduce the heat near the motors or other elements. AC units, fan housings, electronics, and communication shelters use honeycomb vents. This type of EMI shielding can also reduce noise, which makes it very versatile. Through careful design, an EMI honeycomb vent can be customized for many different applications. Industries that are dependent on technology rely on EMI shielding to reduce repair and replacement costs.
10 Key EMI Honeycomb Vent Design Considerations
Honeycomb vents have many different variables. These variables allow for designs with specifications that can meet regulations, performance options, or convenience. Honeycomb vents come in standard cell sizes of 1/16-inch, 1/8-inch, and ¼-inch. The thickness of the cells can be ¼-inch, ½-inch, and 1-inch. These two elements alone can provide many combinations to find the right performance needs for any application.
Below are ten elements that are considered when designing and selecting a honeycomb vent.
- Airflow – good airflow reduces heat production. Most electronics work more efficiently when they are kept cool. Honeycomb vents are particularly suited to EMI shielding. The larger the cell, the more airflow. The greater the thickness, the less airflow. Airflow is directly related to attenuation. With each project, the engineers look at the priorities to balance airflow against shielding.
- Attenuation – this is how effective the shielding is. Smaller cells and thicker walls equal greater shielding, but thermal performance decreases. Balancing air flow and attenuation is one of the keys to EMI honeycomb vent design. With many different aluminum honeycomb designs, it’s important to find the one that meets your design and device specifications. The effectiveness of shielding can be increased through other design elements and techniques.
- Installation methods & frames – the honeycomb vent is often mounted on a frame for ease of installation and structural integrity. The frame can be made of different materials, but typically it matches the honeycomb material—aluminum, brass, steel, or stainless steel, which can improve performance and resist corrosion. Note, however, that more and more applications, as is the case at The Id Group, do not require frames; the gasket is installed directly on the frameless honeycomb vent.
Frameless Honeycomb Vent
- Durability – aluminum is a lighter material that can be made more durable with the addition of plating, either to the honeycomb itself or to the frame. Nickel is a common material used to plate aluminum for added strength, but there are others that can reduce corrosion and the impact on the environment. Durability can also be increased by design and thickness of the material.
- Gasketing – gasketing is like electrical grounding. There are many options for gasketing, to keep the electromagnetic waves confined to a particular enclosure.
- Corrosion resistance – exposure to the elements can cause corrosion. When designing an EMI honeycomb vent, consider where it will be used and what it will be exposed to. Plating can improve corrosion resistance, but so can using a different material to make the honeycomb. Stainless steel is less corrosive than aluminum, for example.
- Air filtration – the honeycomb vent can have filters added to the design to prevent particles from getting through, as well as keep put EMI. Good design can also reduce moisture or water getting through the vents.
- Size – the size of the EMI shielding is an obvious concern in design. Honeycomb vents can be made to fit the application. As the size of the shielding increases, brackets can be added to support the additional weight and height of the shielding.
- Design angle of the honeycomb – the honeycomb can be angled as part of the design for multiple reasons. Angling the honeycomb can provide moisture-resistance and direct the air flow. It can also create interference with the line of sight, for security purposes. With multiple layers, angled or not, the shielding is increased.
- Aesthetics, Flame Exposure, and More – every industry has specific regulations and requirements for EMI shielding and each project within an industry can be different. Each and every aspect of the project is taken into account to meet all needs, from aesthetics, to flame exposure, and price point.
Although the three most critical elements of honeycomb design are material composition, airflow, and attenuation, the entire design is important to maximize the EMI shielding of any project.
Learn more about the critical performance variables for EMI Honeycomb Vents.
Delicate Technology Needs Effective EMI Shielding
We depend on technology in many areas. No one wants their electronic devices to fail, especially in the aerospace or medical industries. The EMI shielding offered by honeycomb vents can ensure that devices function as they should to protect the health and safety of others. It is only a matter of choosing the right EMI honeycomb vent design that best fits the requirements and constraints of the application.
At The ID Group, we are experts in EMI RFI shielding. We offer off-the-shelf EMI honeycomb vents as well as custom-designed solutions such as frameless honeycomb vents to help you achieve the EMI shielding performances you need. We also have fingerstock gaskets, metalized fabric gaskets, conductive shielding gaskets and more for all your project needs. Ask our experts, they are here to help!