EMI Shielding Gaskets / Conductive Gaskets

At Vanguard Products Corporation, we are a global supplier of a wide selection of standard EMI/RFI shielding gaskets and conductive gaskets. These products are available in sizes ranging from 0.010 to 3 inches in cross-section and are highly customizable to meet the specific needs of our customers. Our finishing services include pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA) application, bonding, cutting, and additional secondary operations.

What Are EMI/RFI Shielding Gaskets? 

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) can disrupt the operations or affect the performance of electronic systems, equipment, and individual devices. For ones used in critical applications, such as in the aerospace, medical, military, navigation, or transit sectors, these disruptions or alterations can have catastrophic effects, such as system failure or injury to life and limb.  

EMI/RFI shielding gaskets serve as a preventative measure, protecting sensitive electronics from both electromagnetic and radio-frequency interference. These hybrid mechanical-electrical devices are suitable for use in a variety of operating environments, including temperature extremes, wind and rain, salt spray, solvents, and other conditions. Depending on the project specifications and budgetary restrictions, they can be installed using pressure sensitive adhesive (PSA), mechanical fastening, epoxy, or grooved press-fitting methods. Alternatively, they can be molded into place. 

Considerations for EMI/RFI Shielding Gaskets

The main function of an EMI shielding gasket is to prevent electromagnetic waves from entering or exiting an electronic enclosure. When choosing one for an electronic application, there are several considerations to keep in mind to ensure it operates as intended, including: 

  • Proper EMI seal or enclosure flange design to ensure the formation of a sufficient seal
  • Adequate compressive force (30 to 40% deflection under low closure force) to maintain contact with mating flanges

In addition to their primary use, EMI gaskets form conductive channels capable of electrically bonding components to a common ground. They also improve enclosure reliability by serving as low impedance conductors. 

Typical Applications for EMI/RFI Shielding Gaskets

EMI/RFI shielding gaskets find application across a diverse set of industries. At Vanguard, we regularly design and manufacture them for:

  • Automotive control systems
  • Avionics
  • Cellular/telecommunication base stations
  • Communication systems
  • Computers
  • High-speed electronics
  • Medical electronics
  • Military electronics and weapons systems
  • Shielded connector seals
  • TENS electrodes

EMI/RFI Shielding Gaskets and Conductive Gaskets From Vanguard

At Vanguard, our ISO 9001:2015 certified facility allows us to produce and provide high-precision EMI/RFI shielding and conductive gaskets at competitive prices. We also offer economical in-house secondary services, such as bonding, cutting, and O-ring fabrication. 

The gasket products we produce feature: 

For customers looking for gaskets compliant with military or government standards, we also remain in compliance with all applicable specifications from the:

  • US Department of State
  • Office of Defense Trade Controls Compliance, Compliance and Registration Division pursuant to the Arms Export Control Act (AECA)
  • International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR Part 122)

Materials Used in Vanguard EMI/RFI Shielding Gaskets and Conductive Gaskets

We use a variety of materials in our gaskets to suit different applications, industries, and environmental conditions. The material options we offer include: 

SILICONE

  • Carbon-filled silicone
  • Dense silicone
  • Flame retardant silicone
  • Low-outgassing silicone
  • Medium-density closed-cell sponge silicone
  • Nickel-plated graphite in silicone
  • Silver in silicone
  • Silver-plated aluminum in silicone
  • Silver-plated copper in silicone
  • Silver-plated nickel in silicone
  • 20 Shore A to 80 Shore A hardness silicone

EPDM

  • Carbon-filled EPDM
  • Dense EPDM
  • Medium-density closed-cell sponge EPDM
  • NBC-compatible EPDM
  • Nickel-plated graphite in EPDM
  • Silver in EPDM
  • Silver-plated aluminum in EPDM
  • Silver-plated copper in EPDM
  • Silver-plated nickel in EPDM
  • 50 Shore A to 80 Shore A hardness EPDM

FLUOROSILICONE

  • Carbon-filled fluorosilicone
  • Dense fluorosilicone
  • Jet fuel compatible fluorosilicone
  • Medium-density closed cell sponge fluorosilicone
  • Nickel-plated graphite in fluorosilicone
  • Silver in fluorosilicone
  • Silver-plated aluminum in fluorosilicone
  • Silver-plated copper in fluorosilicone
  • Silver-plated nickel in fluorosilicone
  • 20 Shore A to 80 Shore A hardness fluorosilicone

Advantages of Vanguard Shielding Gaskets

By choosing to use our shielding gasket products, especially our Ultra-Vanshield™ and MICROBRIDGE™ lines, customers experience a number of advantages over traditional EMI gaskets with conductive particle throughout cross-sections. 

Both our Ultra-Vanshield™ and MICROBRIDGE™ dual elastomer shielding gaskets offer the following advantages:

  • Broad environmental protection (NEMA, IP, wind-driven rain, immersion, etc.)
  • Consistent attenuation performance (even under full compression)
  • Easier termination
  • Excellent conductive properties
  • Extended galvanic protection 
  • Manufacturing flexibility
  • More resilient inner cores that do not contain or accrue metal fillers
  • Single unit EMI Seals (weatherproofing)
  • Silver conductive material limited to only a thin, outer membrane (reducing cost)
  • Superior compression and aging properties
  • Very low compressive forces

By choosing to use our shielding gasket products, especially our Ultra-Vanshield™ and MICROBRIDGE™ lines, customers experience a number of advantages over traditional EMI gaskets with conductive particle throughout cross-sections. 

Both our Ultra-Vanshield™ and MICROBRIDGE™ dual elastomer shielding gaskets offer the following advantages:

  • Broad environmental protection (NEMA, IP, wind-driven rain, immersion, etc.)
  • Consistent attenuation performance (even under full compression)
  • Easier termination
  • Excellent conductive properties
  • Extended galvanic protection 
  • Manufacturing flexibility
  • More resilient inner cores that do not contain or accrue metal fillers
  • Single unit EMI Seals (weatherproofing)
  • Silver conductive material limited to only a thin, outer membrane (reducing cost)
  • Superior compression and aging properties
  • Very low compressive forces

Our MICROBRIDGE™ gaskets also offer moisture sealing on both sides of the conductive portion for greater galvanic protection and even lower silver contents for additional cost reduction.

Performance Compared With Traditional EMI Shielding Gaskets

When compared with all types of traditional EMI shielding gaskets, both Ultra-Vanshield™ and MICROBRIDGE™ require a lower compression force and percentage of compression. Additional USPs include: 

Vs. Mesh:

  • Better environmental sealing with higher shielding levels
  • Self-terminating capabilities

Vs. Filled Conductive Elastomers:

  • Better environmental and galvanic sealing
  • Comparable shielding levels
  • Higher compression set, tear, and crack resistance
  • Greater longevity

Vs. Spring Finger Gaskets:

  • Better weather sealing capabilities
  • Comparable shielding levels
  • Easier installation (less likely to cut hands and can be cut with scissors)
  • No maintenance requirements

Versus Fabric Over Foam:

  • Broader operating temperature ranges
  • Higher shielding levels
  • Superior weather sealing capabilities

At Vanguard, we specialize in providing customized solutions to meet the varying needs of a wide range of applications. Our experts focus on identifying alternative materials and production approaches to save costs while improving performance. Contact us today to learn more about our EMI shielding and conductive gasket solutions or for assistance selecting one for your sensitive electronic system application. 

Further Technical Resources:

Practical EM Shielding

EMC Acronyms And Definitions

Shielding Theory

Grounding

Thermally Integrated EMI Shielding/Desense Gasket System

Silicone

  • Silver In Silicone
  • Silver Plated Copper In Silicone
  • Silver Plated Aluminum In Silicone
  • Silver Plated Nickel In Silicone
  • Nickel Plated Graphite In Silicone
  • Carbon Filled Silicone
  • Flame Retardant Silicone
  • Low Outgassing Silicone
  • Dense Silicone
    1. 20 Shore A To 80 Shore A Hardness
  • Medium Density Closed Cell Sponge Silicone

EPDM

  • Silver In EPDM
  • Silver Plated Copper In EPDM
  • Silver Plated Aluminum In EPDM
  • Silver Plated Nickel In EPDM
  • Nickel Plated Graphite In EPDM
  • Carbon Filled EPDM
  • Dense EPDM
    • 50 Shore A To 80 Shore A Hardness
  • Medium Density Closed Cell Sponge EPDM
  • NBC Compatible

Fluorosilicone

  • Silver In Fluorosilicone
  • Silver Plated Copper In Fluorosilicone
  • Silver Plated Aluminum In Fluorosilicone
  • Silver Plated Nickel In Fluorosilicone
  • Nickel Plated Graphite In Fluorosilicone
  • Carbon Filled Fluorsilicone
  • Dense Fluorosilicone
    • 20 Shore A To 80 Shore A Hardness
  • Medium Density Closed Cell Sponge Fluorosilicone
  • Jet Fuel Compatible

Advantages

Ultra-Vanshield Dual Elastomer Shielding Gaskets Provide the Following Advantages Over Traditional EMI Gaskets with Conductive Particle Throughout Cross Section:

  • Resilient inner core remains free of metal fillers
    • Optimum compression and aging properties
  • Silver conductive material is only present in outer thin membrane
    • Excellent conductive properties
  • Thin silver layer permits reduction in costly silver content
  • Attenuation performance is not degraded under full compression
  • Very low compression force
  • Manufacturing flexibility
  • Easy termination
  • Single piece weather and EMI seal
    • Extended galvanic protection
    • NEMA, IP, wind driven rain, and immersion sealing protection

Microbridge™

(US Patent # 6,410,846B1 and 6,613,976B1, other patents pending)

  • Same advantages as Ultra-Vanshield™
  • Offers moisture seal on both sides of conductive portion for extended galvanic protection
  • Further reduces silver content for better cost performance

Comparison of Ultra-Vanshield and Microbridge vs. Traditional EMI Shielding Gaskets

Versus Mesh, Ultra-Vanshield, and Microbridge has:

  • Lower compression force
  • Lower percentage of compression needed
  • Environmental sealing Higher shielding level
  • Self terminating

Versus Traditional Filled Conductive Elastomers, Ultra-Vanshield, and Microbridge has:

  • Lower compression force
  • Lower percentage of compression needed
  • Environmental and galvanic sealing
  • Comparable shielding level
  • Improved compression set, tear, and crack resistance
  • Better aging

Versus Spring Finger Gaskets, Ultra-Vanshield, and Microbridge has:

  • Lower compression force
  • Lower percentage of compression needed
  • Weather sealing
  • Comparable shielding level
  • Easier to work with
  • Won’t cut hands
  • Can cut with scissors
  • No maintenance necessary

Versus Fabric Over Foam, Ultra-Vanshield, and Microbridge has:

  • Low compression set
  • Broader temperature range
  • Higher level of shielding
  • Weather sealing

We specialize in applications assistance to identify alternative production approaches to save cost