Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) refers to electronic systems operating without interfering with other electronic systems or external electromagnetic interference (EMI).
Cars, passenger trucks and commercial automobiles have always presented a challenge for electronic manufacturers and suppliers. Electronic devices often must fit within confined spaces and multiple electronic components are often operating in close proximity to one another. As the automotive industry moves toward a fully electrified future, the number of electronic devices and systems is rapidly growing, while designs continue to become more compact.
The potential for electromagnetic interference and crosstalk between all of these components can disrupt and degrade performance. In the case of electric vehicles, EMC and EMI shielding & grounding reduces interference and also safeguards against potential safety risks.
Another priority is optimizing energy density within EV vehicles and batteries. While shielding & grounding does not directly affect the energy density of EV batteries, proper shielding & grounding helps the battery system operate efficiently and guards against errors in the battery management system.
Identifying the sources of EMI in EV and developing the most effective EMI shielding and grounding solutions help the automotive industry push technology forward. At Polymer Science, we work on a wide variety of shielding & grounding materials including tapes, coatings and adhesives within our P-SHIELD® Shielding & Grounding materials. Our engineers and support team have the capability to work with suppliers and manufacturers to meet the requirements and reliability within EV.
The primary sources of electromagnetic interference from inside an electric vehicle include:
Power converters, electric motors and DC motors: These components can generate EMI due to the high-frequency switching of their circuits. The electromagnetic fields generated from power converters and electric motors need shielding to protect other electronic devices in the vehicle.
Traction batteries and interconnectors: High voltage levels of large batteries and their interconnectors can generate EMI.
Engine control modules (ECM): The ECM controls the electric motor, battery system and related components. The electronic circuits and sensors within the ECM can generate EMI.
Beyond the drivetrain, there are many components that generate EMI. Navigation systems generate high-frequency signals involved in GPS. These components need to be shielded within the navigation system to prevent interference with other devices within the vehicle.
Within the general assembly of EVs, electric cables can be a source of EMI. Shielded cables can help reduce interference by providing a conductive barrier around the signal-carrying wires.
Similar to power converters and electric motors, battery chargers can generate EMI due to their high-frequency switching circuits. Shielding & Grounding protects other components and improves the efficiency of chargers. Quicker charging intervals are important to consumers and commercial operators of electric vehicles.
Collision avoidance radar systems use electromagnetic waves to detect objects and can generate EMI that may interfere with other electronic devices in the vehicle. Emerging technologies that improve automation and self-driving features including Gesture and Proximity Control (GPC) and Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) also require EMI shielding.
Proper shielding & grounding measures are required to avoid EMI issues with these systems and components within electric vehicles. This can include adding a conductive layer around electronic components to ensure that the electromagnetic radiation emitted is within acceptable limits.
Choosing the right materials for shielding & grounding is important both for effectiveness and long-term durability. The specific materials used for EMI Shielding & Grounding will depend on the specific application and the requirements of the vehicle or specific component. It’s important to choose the right materials and to follow proper installation procedures to ensure effective EMI Shielding & Grounding.
Tapes, fabrics and foams provide unique solutions for electric vehicles. At Polymer Science, engineers design a wide variety of electrically conductive materials and grounding solutions. In EV, materials that are durable, reduce weight, and in many cases, offer thin profiles are necessary to meet the increasing demands. Some of the materials useful in EV include:
Conductive adhesives can be used to bond components together or attach shielding materials. Conductive acrylic pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) or heat activated adhesives can be used for fabric tapes as well as film and foil tapes.
Electrically conductive fabric conforms to uneven surfaces and is durable.
Film tapes provide anisotropic conductivity in the X Y plane.
Foil tapes are lightweight and malleable.
Foam and foam tapes offer excellent low compression and high electrical conductivity in the X, Y and Z axes.
These are just a few examples of how Polymer Science provides value for OEMs in need of EMI Shielding & Grounding materials. The future needs of EVs will continue to emerge, and we are eager to meet these new challenges.