The Role of Copper in RFI Shielding

RFI or Radio Frequency Interference, is also sometimes referred to as Electromagnetic Interference or EMI. Sometimes, when an electrical circuit works, disturbances are encountered, and these disturbances are called interferences. These interferences can cause unpleasant side effects in the receiver side, and may degrade the quality of the signal completely. Hence, interferences disrupt the performance of a perfectly working electrical circuit. Some years ago, NASA produced an article by the name of “Radio Frequency Interference at the Geostationary Orbits”, which stated that, interference can cause a range of disruptions in the system, from a simple degradation in the date sent, to the total loss of the date from the system.

The questions usually come, how does RFI occur? There are two scenarios which can cause the radio frequency interference to stem.

· Electromagnetic Induction

· Electromagnetic Radiation

While radiations come from an outside source, every natural and artificial source, that produces electricity rapidly, are responsible for these interferences. It includes electrical circuits, the sun and also the northern lights.

Now, why is RFI a big factor today? With the increasing growth of the electronic equipment’s we use in our life, the radio frequency interference has also increased. In turn of the prevalence the devices provide, the sensitivity of the devices is compromised. One of the leading organization, the Copper Development Association Inc, says that, all types of electronic components and computer systems emit radio frequencies, and these radio frequencies are received by a unit called the Special Surveillance Unit, and it compromises the privacy of the source.

Given the unwanted side-effects of the radio frequency interference, it is very evident that users of systems would want some kind of protection from them. The RFI shielding is the perfect thing to do so. Shielding is a process by which radio frequency interference can be decreased with the help of magnetic materials and electrostatic field-blocking conductive. As we said earlier, electric field and magnetic field is emitted by every electronic device we use today, and therefore, shielding decreases the amount of electric field and magnetic field being transmitted from that electronic device. The enclosure or the shield has been named after faraday, and is known as a “Faraday Cage”. The primary aim of the cage is to block the primary static and non-static field from passing through the shield.

For the last few decades, scientists have research a lot about how to decrease the effect of radio frequency interference in electronic devices, and the only solution to the interference problem is shields. The Copper Association Development says that, “Radio Frequency shielding is primarily used to decrease the radio frequency radiation from leaving or entering the shielded space”.

Now, coming to the materials used for shielding, Copper is the widely-used metal, along with others such as nickel and silver. Since, copper has a high electrical conductivity and the other physical properties such as ductility and malleability also copes up with the needs of the shielding, therefore, copper is used widely as a shielding metal. No matter which form of copper, be it sheet, coil or foil, every other copper derivative can shield the interference in some form.

3G shielding specialties, in Florida, has been delivering leading edge solutions for shielding advanced electronic components since 1994. Some of the biggest companies in the United States of America, has relied on 3G shielding specialties for solutions on shielding. Call them to get a quote.

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Jason Black

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