Chem Etching and the Manufacturing of High-Profile and Low-Profile EMI Shielding

May 2023

As a society we have passed through a number of technology booms. However, for many industries, ranging from telecommunications and aerospace to consumer electronics and medical devices, electromagnetic interference (EMI) presents a major threat to an array of devices, so organizations must take certain manufacturing precautions to prevent this looming threat from damaging the products. This is why a wide range of organizations and companies partner with United Western Enterprises for EMI shielding with chem etching—a manufacturing process that is cost-effective and fast when producing many pieces from metal sheets, and that significantly reduces the chance of these parts receiving burrs, cracks or other flaws during their production.

Photo chemical etching (or chem etching) engineers must be at the top of their field when it comes to creating the best EMI shielding for design parts, whether they are intended for consumer electronics or for parts required in aerospace blueprints. The right metal and its thickness must be carefully chosen to ensure the manufacturing process is efficient and productive without costing the client expenses that could have otherwise been avoided. There are multiple sheet metal fabrication methods for EMI shielding manufacturing that involves bending, cutting and shaping the material to create all types of EMI shielding components, and this article will examine the best methods according to whether the needs are for high profile or low-profile designs.

Chem Etching for High-Profile EMI Shielding

EMI shielding components that are regarded as high profile are parts that tend to be thicker and taller than low-profile shields. In situations where higher levels of EMI shielding performance is required, high-profile shields are required, and this means the part will need to provide the necessary space. Depending on the application requirements and design needs, the metal thickness and shielding profile can vary, and chem etching is regarded as the best manufacturing solution for EMI shielding, regardless of these specs, and if multiple shielding sizes are required to accommodate multiple designs for a single project, this process is very cost-efficient. For example, an EMI shield from a metal sheet may require a thickness of 1mm, while another shield may require a thickness of 2.5mm. Chem etching can be used to form the desired piece as different metal sheet sizes are rotated in and out of the manufacturing process, based on the application.

Chem Etching for EMI Shielding Is Used to Manufacture Mixed Profile Specs Across the Same Industries

In many cases, multiple industries will require EMI shields that are both low and high profile, and chem etching can be used to manufacture every variety. Let’s look at some of the common examples.

  • Automotive – For the automotive industry, high-profile EMI shields can be used in electronic systems related to engine management to protect against interference from other vehicle components or external sources. Low-profile EMI shields for the automotive industry are commonly used to safeguard electronic systems from interference derived from other vehicle components.
  • Consumer Electronics – Devices like mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and certain portable listening devices usually require compact shielding solutions that are light in weight and that don’t require a great degree of thickness, so low-profile EMI shielding components are preferred. In larger devices such as smart TVs or large desktop computers, certain designs can require a high-profile EMI shield, but low-profile EMI shields manufactured with chem etching are more common.
  • Telecommunications – When we use chem etching to manufacture EMI shields for telecommunications equipment such as cell towers and base stations, the design almost always requires high-profile EMI shields. For this industry, one would typically see low-profile EMI shields in accessories or hand-held devices.
  • Aerospace/Defense – Typically, the aerospace and defense industries almost always require high-profile EMI shields that are high-performance. This will help to protect critical electronic systems from getting hobbled by interference caused by other pieces of equipment. However, other products in aerospace and defense will require low-profile EMI shielding, which is common to see in satellites, aircrafts, and mobile/portable devices.
  • Medical Equipment – When it comes to large pieces of medical equipment that are very sensitive, such as an MRI machine or other diagnostic equipment, high-profile EMI shielding manufactured through the chem etching process will garner the best results. However, the chem etching process for low-profile EMI shields in the landscape of medical devices is also common to see and the preferred method, as they are ideal for implant devices, monitoring systems, and smaller diagnostic equipment.

Why Most Industries Prefer Chem Etching for Low-Profile EMI Shields and High-Profile EMI Shields

Manufacturers and organizations have a number of manufacturing processes to choose from when it comes to producing EMI shielding components. While chem etching is the preferred approach, other options include stamping, laser cutting and CNC punching. While laser cutting is extremely precise, it utilizes a tremendous amount of heat and this can cause the sides of the shield to develop burrs thus causing the product to fail. Stamping and CNC punching require a large degree of force, and this can lead to stress fractures, cracks, and other flaws. Chem etching simply dissolved the unwanted metal leaving behind the desired part with clean, smooth edges and surfaces, with no risk of burring or cracks. Chem etching for EMI shields not only makes sense in terms of efficiency, but for projects like these, it is easy to replicate many times over and is cost-effective.

Call United Western Enterprises to Learn How Our Chem Etching Services Provide the Best EMI Shields for Any Product

United Western Enterprises is the leading chem etching provider in North America, producing both low-profile EMI shields and high-profile EMI shielding components for a wide range of products spanning more than 10 industries. Call today and send over your design specifications and discover how a chem etching partnership with United Western Enterprises can help you lower your costs, produce better products, and get your items to market well before your competition has a start.

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