How to Protect Your Electronics from Interference with Shielding Tape

Posted by Casey Cephas | 1/2/20 2:52 PM

Your electronic device is constantly under attack. It can come from anywhere and have devastating consequences on the circuits and performance of your device. We’re talking about electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI).

In the fight against interference, one weapon you have at your disposal is shielding tape. Let’s explore how this product can be an effective and cost-efficient solution for protecting your device from EMI/RFI interference.

What does shielding tape do?

Shielding tapes are products designed for applications that require point-to-point electrical contact, grounding, and static charge draining. These tapes contain signals produced by your device, as well as block outside signals that could affect internal components. Shielding tapes come in many varieties, including options with foil backing materials, smooth or embossed foil surfaces, and conductive or non-conductive acrylic adhesives.

Benefits of shielding tape.

While there are numerous types of products designed to handle EMI/RFI signals, shielding tapes offer many unique benefits.

  • Efficient installation – Featuring pressure-sensitive adhesives, shielding tapes can be applied quickly and save on labor costs.
  • Troubleshooting, prototyping, and quality control – Because shielding tapes are inexpensive and easy to work with, they are excellent options for prototyping and troubleshooting. These tapes provide the opportunity to take a trial-by-error approach when finding EMI leaks and fixing the source.
  • Eliminate static build-up – Some shield tapes are designed with through-the-adhesive conductivity, which can be used for grounding and preventing static build-up.
  • Easy converting – Shielding tapes can be customized through die-cutting and other converting methods to precisely fit your application.

Types of shielding tapes.

Shielding tapes are available in a wide range of constructions, including:

  • Smooth foil backings with conductive adhesive – Provides secure electronic contact and broad distribution of conductive particles for low-resistance paths between the backing and the substrate.
  • Embossed foil backings – Copper, tin-plated copper, or aluminum is pressed through the adhesive to make direct contact with the surface.
  • Tin-plated foil backings – Designed to stay conductive after oxidation, also corrosion-resistant and solderable.
  • Conductive adhesive on both sides – Ideal for grounding and bonding conductive surfaces, as well as for low thermal resistance.
  • Smooth foil backing with non-conductive adhesive – A cost-effective copper tape with good solderability.
  • Conductive fabric tape – Anti-corrosion polyester fabric is flexible, conformable, lightweight, and strong.

Which tape is right for your application?

With so many options of shielding tape available, it can be difficult to know which one offers the best EMI/RFI protection for your device. By talking with a materials and converting provider, you can determine the tape product with the ideal features, benefits, and performance for your application.

Get started with shielding tapes.

At Tapecon, we have over 100 years of experience helping customers solve their complex product challenges. Learn more about our electronic materials applications.

Fun Fact: The name Tapecon actually derives from the phrase "conductive tape." Tapecon has been a leader in conductive tape manufacturing for decades and even helped pioneer some early shielding applications in the 1940s.

 

Topics: Custom Converting, Shielding

Written by Casey Cephas

Casey is Marketing Coordinator at Tapecon Inc.

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