In the competitive world of EMI/RFI shielding gaskets, many companies are touting various nickel-containing gasket materials claiming that they have improved galvanic compatibility with aluminum at a lower cost. However, these material combinations including nickel and graphite alloys, and nickel and aluminum alloys suffer from poor conductive performance. And beyond that challenge, a major concern is the uncertainty surrounding the safety of heavy exposure to nickel products.
The European Union is constantly issuing recommendations on the amount of nickel that can safely be exposed to skin. According to the Nickel Producers Environmental Research Association (NiPERA) fact sheet on Nickel and Human Health, “Nickel is one of the most common anthropogenic causes of allergic contact dermatitis (ACD).”
The fact sheet goes on to state that individuals who have prolonged exposure to nickel become more sensitive to it.
“A nickel sensitized individual, when re-exposed to nickel ions on the skin in sufficient amounts, may have an allergic response within a matter of hours. This is termed the elicitation phase, which often occurs at a lower concentration of nickel ions than required for inducing sensitization in the first place. The elicitation of nickel ACD usually occurs at the site of exposure but can occur in skin remote from the site of contact with nickel where previous nickel sensitization reactions have occurred.”
Because of these risks, it may be beneficial for companies to select industrial products that are nickel free to prevent unnecessary exposure and discomfort among employees. At Vanguard Products, the majority of our materials are nickel free, and our Ultra-Vanishield Dual Elastomer EMI/RFI Shielding Gaskets offer a competitive cost alternative to nickel-containing products. Our microbridge approach with silver and aluminum alloys can even surpass the galvanic performance of other products. And because our EMI shielding gaskets are made in the USA, all materials adhere to current safety and quality standards.
To learn more about EMI/RFI shielding gaskets and their many industrial applications, please feel free to visit our website. You can also browse our online catalog for additional product details and information.