Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is a signal from an external source that impacts sensitive electronics. Common wireless devices like smartphones and laptops can even emit EMI. The resulting damage can be catastrophic to sensitive devices in the aerospace industry. EMI-shielding materials block and absorb strong external signals, preventing them from interfering with surrounding devices.
In many instances, EMI could be considered a nuisance or an inconvenience. In the aerospace industry, it’s critical to safety during passenger flights and even the use of military equipment in military aircraft. Many safety and navigation systems in aircraft were designed decades ago when current EMI radiators didn’t even exist. Additionally, different systems may have incompatibility issues, which can cause equipment disruptions and failures. Shielding tapes, silicone rubbers, and other radio frequency interference (RFI)/EMI-shielding products eliminate these dangers.
Electronic interference in aircraft comes from fly-by-wire systems, safety systems, and even electronic devices carried by passengers. To operate correctly, the aircraft, its communications equipment, safety equipment, missile systems, and launchers all need shielding. RFI-shielding solutions help make aircraft less susceptible to damage from lightning strikes. EMI-shielding gaskets protect mission-critical missile systems from radio frequency interference.
Aerospace Adhesive Tapes
Aerospace adhesive tapes are used in a variety of ways to mask temperature, keep out moisture, and create essential bonds. Some of the most important uses for aerospace adhesive tapes include:
- Anti-vibration and friction for window shades
- Protecting hoses, wires, and cables
- Sealing cargo area with flame-retardant tapes
- High temperature masking up to 500° F
- Carpet attachment to floors
- Surface protective products
- Moisture barrier to secure seams in air conditioning, duct, and air handling systems
Liquid Silicone Rubber
Outstanding endurance levels for stress and temperature make liquid silicone rubber useful for a wide range of purposes in the aerospace and aviation industries. Essential in both int
erior and exterior applications to seal, insulate, and protect a wide variety of parts, examples of liquid silicone rubber applications include:
- Door Seals
- Window Seals
- HVAC Seals
- Thermal Insulation
- Engine Gaskets
- Vent Ducts
- Instrument Panel Seals
- Vibration Dampening
Together, these products create the comfortable and safe flight experience personnel and passengers experience on aircraft of all types. Whether you enjoy the comfort of passenger flights or consider the dangers of disruptions to electronic devices while aircraft are in flight, shielding products play an essential role in air travel. From temperature extremes and intense vibration to the dangerous interaction of radiofrequency waves, air travel wouldn’t be possible without protective barriers against external and internal forces.
For instance, silicone rubber has exceptional noise reduction and anti-vibration properties. It can be formed into small components and fitted into gaps to protect equipment. It’s often used in seals for lighting and entertainment systems, hatches, and covers to prevent vibration. Airframe seals use fabric-reinforced EMI/RFI shielding to aerodynamically seal doors, windows, ailerons, spoilers, canopies, hatches, and panels with low resistance and good abrasion-resistance characteristics. Smart interiors and Wi-Fi for passengers and crew even use EMI/RFI gaskets and seals for proper vibration control and elimination of interference.
Air travel is a miracle of modern engineering and adhesive tape and RFI/EMI-shielding products have a big role in the safety and comfort of the industry. Protective gaskets and seals provide adequate temperature and vibration protection for extremes that aircraft can’t withstand alone. As more sensitive onboard electronics are utilized in the field, RFI shielding is an essential protectant to avoid potentially catastrophic disruptions.
At Robert McKeown, we specialize in creating superior protective products for the aerospace and aircraft industry. To learn more about our adhesive tape and shielding products or to request a quote, contact us today.