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What is RF Shielding Effectiveness?

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    keypoints-top-borderKey Points

    • Radio frequency (RF) shielding effectiveness is the measure of how well an RF shield protects a device from RF interference (RFI).
    • It’s a simple concept that can make a huge difference in the functionality of a device.
    • RF shielding effectiveness all comes down to high-quality design and manufacturing.


    Nobody designs a part or device hoping it will be ineffective. But for some devices, effectiveness matters more than it does for others. A great example of that is an RF shield. These intricate and complicated devices keep devices working properly in a multitude of critical industries, and that’s thanks to RF shielding effectiveness.

    In this post, the Modus team explores RF shielding effectiveness in detail — its definition and some common questions we receive on this complex topic. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

    Modus makes RF shields that work. How? By putting quality first. Ready to stop worrying about RF shielding effectiveness and work with a manufacturer you can truly trust. Contact us today.

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    RF Shielding Resource Center

    Visit the Modus RF Shielding Resource Center 

    RF Shielding Effectiveness: Defined

    When you are discussing and planning an RF shield, RF shielding effectiveness is bound to come up. It’s an essential quality of the RF shield you’re trying to correct, and it’s essential that you understand exactly what it is. With that in mind, here’s the quick and simple definition of RF shielding effectiveness:

    What is RF Shielding Effectiveness?

    RF shielding effectiveness is the measurement of an RF shield’s ability to absorb and/or redirect RF signals that could interfere with the part or device the shield is meant to protect. It can be seen as both a basic concept of RF blocking or a much more specific measurement that looks at the intensity or strength of an incoming RF signal before it hits the RF shield and after it hits it and measures the difference.

    That’s it — it is pretty simple. However, don’t let the simplicity of the concept fool you into thinking it’s simple to design an effective RF shield. It isn’t. Creating an effective RF shield requires engineering and design expertise, as well as the highest-quality manufacturing processes, methods, equipment and materials.

    RF Shielding Effectiveness FAQs

    As you set out to design and manufacture an effective RF shield, you’re bound to have some questions. Modus has the answers. Below, we’ve compiled some of those answers. Don’t see your question answered below? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team directly. We’ll be happy to help you out.

    What Makes an RF Shield Effective?

    An RF shield is effective if it can block and/or redirect enough RFI to keep the device it is protecting working properly. But how, exactly, does an RF shield achieve that? 

    The answer to that question depends on the design of the RF shield in question. For example, Faraday cages use a metal wire mesh to redistribute incoming RF signals around the exterior of the cage. On the other hand, solid enclosures can be made with reflective metals that bounce signals away from them. 

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    RF Shielding: Everything You Need to Know

    Read Everything You Need To Know About RF Shielding 


    How Can an RF Shield Be Effective if It Has an Opening?

    One hole in the bottom of a boat can sink it, so how can an RF shield effectively keep interference out if it has multiple openings? It’s a great question with a one-word answer: gaskets.

    More specifically, RF-shielding gaskets made with RF-absorbing conductive materials are placed around openings in the RF shield enclosure to make sure no signal can slip through the cracks and interfere with the shielded part inside.

    Why Worry About RF Shielding Effectiveness in the First Place?

    This question translates roughly to: Why should I care? You should care about RF shielding effectiveness if what you are designing relies on passing electronic signals from one point to another — whether that’s via cable or through the air. 

    Why? Because RFI can degrade and interrupt those signals, which can cause problems that range from minor crackling in audio to major system malfunctions that can actually put lives at risk, depending on the industry in which you operate. An effective RF shield can keep those signals out and your device working as it should.

    Which Industries Should Care About Having Effective RF Shields?

    Any industry that creates electronic devices is likely going to need effective RF shields for at least a handful of applications. But the industries that most commonly deal with and design RF shields include the following:

    The Most Effective Manufacturers Make the Most Effective RF Shields

    Knowing what RF shielding effectiveness is is only half of the battle. The other half is actually creating effective RF shields for the sensitive parts and devices you design. The effectiveness of an RF shield begins in the design phase, but the best RF shield design ever created could lead to an ineffective RF shield if the manufacturer messes it up.

    That’s not just a theoretical concept, either — many manufacturers pretend that they know what they’re doing with RF shields but have no clue. They put out low-quality RF shields, and the result is ineffective or completely dysfunctional devices, as well as really unhappy customers.

    That’s not us. Our team — which is made up of more than 10% engineers — puts quality above everything else. That’s how we manufacture some of the best RF shields across industries, from defense and aerospace to telecommunications and consumer electronics. By partnering with our customers and offering manufacturability feedback, we provide the best service in our industry. Not convinced? Try us. Give the Modus Advanced team a call at 925-960-8700 or contact us online today.


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