Metallized Microballoon EMI Shielding Materials

by Boyle C. Cheng, Colorado State Univ, Fort Collins, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space III


The number of applications requiring shielding against electro-magnetic interference (EMI) is growing. Materials that are lightweight, and formable need to be developed for shielding against EMI. The benefits of using a new family of such ultra-lightweight conductive materials could be readily applied to applications ranging from molded cases for terrestrial electronics to shielding systems for satellites. To investigate the potential for such a material, composites of metallized microballoons in an epoxy matrix are examined in this paper. Factors influencing the electrical conductivity are discussed, and the shielding performance is tested using two different methods; one on a laboratory scale and one on an industrial scale. The methods employed differ in the transmission frequency range and their measured value of attenuation. The values of conductivity and shielding performance are compared with those of existing shielding materials. Variables available which have the potential to allow application specific tailoring of the shielding material are described. Results indicate that shield densities less than 0.6 g/cm3, with shielding levels better than conventional shields, are possible.

Subject Headings: Microbes | Composite materials | Magnetic fields | Epoxy | Matrix (mathematics) | Plastics | Synthetic materials | Electrical conductivity

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