How to Protect Your PCB From EMI

How to Protect Your PCB From EMI

A circuit board is similar to a brain. It sends and receives electrical signals to specific locations so a larger structure can do its work. While you are the structure your brain powers, printed circuit boards give life to any number of different electronics.

As you produce PCBs, this integral part must not have defects that expose it to electromagnetic interference. If you are curious how to protect your PCB from EMI, here are a few facets to pay attention to.

Electromagnetic Capability Basics

First, a word on electromagnetic capability. EMC is a device’s readiness to operate in an electromagnetic environment without falling prey to interference. In the event of a design flaw or shielding deficit, EMC drops and EMI, whether internal or external, inhibits PCB functionality. Often, the edges of a circuit board are the most at risk of creating an EMI-emitting antenna.

PCB Design Tips

The first way to protect your PCB from EMI is through smart design. Ensure you have a sufficiently grounded plane that touches every single component as a foundation.

Meanwhile, plan effective trace paths so they don’t radiate EMI. To do so, don’t bend traces more than 45 degrees at one point—opt for gradual turns instead. In addition, properly space traces to cut down on disruptive “cross-talk” between like-speed paths.

EMI Shielding Solutions

Though there are design strategies for stopping EMI at the source, it’s impossible to completely eradicate. For that reason, PCBs require protective shields to counteract and ground existing EMI. Shields encapsulate a circuit board or individual components with conductive materials to attenuate radiating signals.

Deep Coat’s unique dual-fire or quad-fire vacuum metalizing services deposit several layers of conductive metals onto a shield. To maximize shields’ flexibility, we also partner with plastic molding, 3-D printing, and thermoforming specialists to match your exact PCB shield specifications. When in place, these shields eliminate weak points and regulate device function so your customers can trust your products for years of use.