How Does an EMI Shield Work?

Unwanted noise or interference in an electrical path has always hindered the performance of devices. As smartphones shift to more compact designs and modern automobiles are outfitted with incredibly energy-dense components, electromagnetic interference (EMI) is a primary concern across nearly all industries.

For OEMs and tier 1 suppliers, Polymer Science’s P-SHIELDⓇ EMI shielding and grounding materials offer the perfect solution to the growing demand for effective EMI reduction. Our team designs and engineers P-SHIELD® shielding & grounding materials to meet the ever-changing needs of consumer and industrial applications.

New technologies’ explosive evolution requires the simultaneous advancement and customization of EMI shielding technology, such as our fabric tapes, film tapes, foil tapes, foam tapes, and conductive adhesives. A recent study forecasts the global EMI shielding market size to grow $8.6B by 2027. At a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.4%, there is a clear need for innovative EMI shielding solutions.

This surge can be attributed to the rapid electrification in consumer electronics, automotive industries, and other shifts of OEMs to new technology. The corresponding electromagnetic pollution can present challenges for manufacturers and designers. Throughout conventional electrical designs advancements in shielding & grounding aid in shrinking devices and enhancing performance. The changes are not merely conveniences in tapes and adhesives. Better microprocessors and driven battery-powered technology can improve quality of life and workplace safety.

At Polymer Science, all P-SHIELDⓇ EMI shielding & grounding materials reduce the risk of interrupting the input and output of data signals. When designers and engineers partner with Polymer Science, you discover how working with a team of adaptable and experienced professionals helps you achieve nearly limitless possibilities for your applications.

Protective Products at Work: Industries That Benefit From EMI Shielding

For the majority of the general public, EMI shielding & grounding remains a mystery or otherwise taken for granted. While the most common interactions are static noise on radios or cell phones, shielding electromagnetic interference has revolutionized daily life around the world. In at least three industries, life has been transformed in the last 25 plus years.

Consumer Electronics

When Polymer Science was founded in 1998, most personal computers were still stationary, televisions were manufactured with cathode ray technology, and many cell phones were still too large to fit into pockets. As these devices have decreased in size, everyday dependence and the importance of their EMI shielding technology has risen exponentially.

Traditional EMI shields emulate the features of a Faraday cage, enclosing individual electronic components in a metallic screen to absorb or reflect signals and radiation. Polymer Science has optimized the benefit of EMI shielding in the consumer electronics industry by implementing energy-dense materials that serve multiple purposes.

We engineer foam tapes that absorb shocks and vibrations, as well as control EMI. Our conductive foams are designed to be highly compressible within the housings of consumer electronics including tablets, GPS navigation, wearables, and medical devices.

One example is PS-1206. Its core is a conductive acrylic adhesive multi-laminate that is topped with mesh fabric and a nickel and copper-plated, conductive polyurethane foam carrier for optimal structure and restitution even in highly confined spaces.

Electric Vehicles

Manual windows and mechanical speedometers in passenger vehicles have been replaced by center stacks, GPS, Bluetooth, head-up displays, rear seat entertainment, and ever more complex technology. Effective EMI shielding allows each of these devices to operate simultaneously inside your car.

In the case of the electric vehicle (EV) revolution, every component within the car won’t function without proper EMI shielding. Over the last 10 years, the number of EVs in the U.S. jumped from about 22,000 to more than 2 million, with this number set to increase at a much faster rate in the next decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

At Polymer Science, our fabric tapes are another example of a material that serves multiple functions. Combing durable materials, such as fabric, conductive metal, and conductive adhesives can ensure every electrical component in an EV is shielded. For instance, our P-SHIELDⓇ PS-2322 offers a single-coated heat-activated adhesive combined with a nickel and copper-plated conductive woven fabric carrier for excellent shielding effectiveness and converting properties.

Smart Homes

In 1994, Katie Couric infamously asked, “What is Internet?” Now the ubiquity of smart homes now considers what cannot be connected to the internet. Such devices include security systems, thermostats, entertainment devices, and even appliances that connect to our personal electronic devices.

A 2023 survey of U.S. consumers revealed the average household has at least 11 internet-connected devices operating in tandem. This exceedingly diverse array of multiple electronic components in one enclosed environment raises productive EMI shielding to a top priority.

Polymer Science materials suit so many of these devices. One example includes our electromagnetic shielding foil tapes. These materials, such as our P-SHIELDⓇ PS-1774, are engineered to conform to irregular surfaces. The PS-1774 consists of a single-coated, conductive acrylic adhesive with a thin conductive copper foil carrier, making it a capable solution for all types of smart home EMI shielding applications.

Proficient EMI Shielding Solutions Across Industries

EMI Shielding isn’t going away – it’s quickly been solidified in a variety of applications as an essential tool for safe and productive electrical operations. At Polymer Science, our engineers and designers have crafted a range of EMI shielding materials and products to meet the unique needs of OEMs and Tier 1 supplies across the globe.

As pioneers in the field of EMI shielding, we’ve been at the forefront of innovation for all types of EMI shielding solutions. As a result, our materials have unparalleled benefits and highly versatile functions to meet your ever-evolving electromagnetic interference reduction needs. Contact Polymer Science today to learn more.