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By Mark Swanson on  5/18/2017

EMI Gaskets: Die Cut Silicone for Automotive Electronics

EMI Gaskets: Die Cut Silicone for Automotive Electronics

EMI gaskets for automotive electronics protect circuits against electromagnetic inference (EMI), disturbances that can disrupt or disable the electronic systems that drivers and passengers depend upon. Automotive designers have a choice of EMI shielding materials, but die cut gaskets made from shielding silicones are an excellent choice. In addition to EMI shielding, these silicones provide environmental sealing and support cost-effective fabrication and assembly.

As an automotive die cutter, JBC Technologies can supply the EMI gaskets that design engineers need. The silicones that we convert are packed with metal or metal-coated particles for effective shielding and electrical conductivity. These specialized elastomers combine the advantages of silicone rubber with the electrical properties of metals for gaskets that resist water, sunlight, ozone, and a range of temperatures. Importantly, particle-filled silicones also support precision die cutting and the use of adhesives.  

Automotive Electronics and EMI Gaskets

Automotive designers understand that cars and trucks aren’t just conveyances. Automobiles need to support occupant safety and comfort, too. Thanks to technological advances, vehicles are now filled with electrical and electronic components. Yet placing a large number of electrical and electronic systems into a confined space can result in crosstalk that causes systems to malfunction or fail. EMI affects the internal performance of integrated circuits, and can also interfere with nearby electronic components.

With automotive electronics, the sources of EMI are both internal and external. Internal sources include collision avoidance radar, power steering modules, the ignition system, electronic braking systems, and adaptive cruise control. External sources of automotive EMI include cell phones, garage door openers, third-party navigation systems, and high-power transmitters such as radio towers. Wireless technologies can reduce manufacturing costs and potential points-of-failure, but there are tradeoffs. 

EMI Gaskets and Shielding Silicones

To prevent EMI from disrupting or disabling automotive electronics, engineers can design shielding gaskets made of particle-filled silicones. Fill materials vary, and include pure silver, silver-aluminum, and nickel-graphite. Die cut silicone gaskets that are filled with pure silver particles provide the greatest amount of EMI shielding, but these elastomers are relatively expensive. EMI silicones with nickel-graphite particles cost less, but provide excellent shielding and silver-like conductivity.

JBC Technologies converts rolls of particle-filled silicones and can die cut EMI shielding gaskets into precise shapes. With more expensive compounds, continuous rolls are especially cost-effective because fabricators only cut the lengths that they need. For thin EMI shielding gaskets where tearing is a concern, JBC can die cut nickel-graphite silicones that are reinforced with an inner layer of conductive fabric. Die cut shielding gaskets also support the use of adhesives for sealing and insulation solutions that save time on your assembly line.

Do you design automotive electronics? Would you like to learn more about die cut silicones for EMI gaskets? For more information, contact JBC Technologies.

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