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An In-Depth Look at the Importance of EMI Shielding


When electromagnetic signals interfere with critical systems used in the military, medical, and aerospace worlds, disasters happen. These signals can come from just about anywhere and be man-made or naturally occurring. Let’s take an in-depth look at the importance of EMI shielding.

What Is EMI?

EMI stands for electromagnetic interference, and it happens when some external source affects and interferes with an electrical system. Electronic devices run on electrons routed around circuits, which generate electromagnetic fields.

Disruptions caused by other electronic fields could be a minor inconvenience or a source of extreme damage. EMI is the reason we need to put our phones in “airplane mode” before a flight, as cell phones can throw off a plane’s equipment.

EMI and EMC

EMC, or electromagnetic compatibility, means that a device comes with electromagnetic shielding that blocks its own energy waves from interfering with other devices. Many items in your home are rated for electromagnetic compatibility, like laptops, TVs, and tablets.

Why Is EMI Shielding Important?

You’ve probably started to figure out why EMI shielding is so useful; EMI can lead to much worse than temporary disturbances in critical applications. For military, medical, and aerospace applications, severe interference can directly contribute to loss of life. EMI shielding also prevents brownouts and blackouts, static on phone lines, and power faults.

EMI shielding provides a barrier that literally covers electronics in a shroud to prevent interference. This form of shielding encompasses both radiofrequency (RF) and magnetic shielding.

Practical Applications

Different EMI shielding devices contain aluminum, copper, steel, nickel, nu-metal, and conductive rubbers such as neoprene and silicone. Life support devices, X-ray machines, military equipment, and even household items like cell phones utilize EMI shielding to protect themselves and other devices from interference.

Now that you’ve seen an in-depth look at the importance of EMI shielding, you should understand how critical it is that every electronic device comes with proper protection.

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