The electric vehicle (EV) industry is growing at break-neck pace. That means the need for RF shields for EVs is growing quickly, too.
While all vehicles in the modern age can benefit from RF shielding to prevent interference with on-board navigation, WiFi and similar systems, EVs have double the use for RF shielding. That’s because they rely on electric motors — a primary source of unintentional man-made RFI — to move.
Those motors release RF signals that can then interfere with other systems and components onboard the vehicle. RF shields can prevent those signals from escaping or block them from entering certain enclosures.
Telecommunications and Satellites
To relay radio signals across thousands of miles of atmosphere or even space, telecommunications devices need to be well-protected against interfering signals that could garble messages and prevent them from reaching their destinations. That’s what RF shields are made for.
RF shields are common on cellular towers, 5G cells and satellites. They serve the dual purpose of keeping out external signals and preventing internal signals from interfering with other components on the same device.
All kinds of medical devices transmit or receive signals that can suffer from RFI. That’s why RF shields are so important in the medical device industry.
We have already covered the example of shielding MRI facilities, but we can get much more granular than that. Consider the humble pacemaker, a cardiac life support device that could malfunction and cause the patient to die if strong radio signals interfere with it. In a similar vein, you have ventilators, computer-assisted surgical equipment and X-ray devices, among others.
Defense and Aerospace
Unlike various other industries that benefit from and routinely use RF shields, the defense and aerospace industries rely on RF shielding to save lives and preserve national security.
That may sound at first like an exaggeration, but consider the case of a passenger airplane that cannot properly communicate with air traffic control due to RFI. Additionally, consider the case of electronic warfare, in which weaponized RF signals may be used to jam radar defense systems.
The list of potential horror stories goes on, with each emphasizing the critical need for high-quality RF shields in the aerospace and defense industries.
Defense and aerospace are tough acts to follow, but the consumer electronic device industry may be a contender. It’s not so life-and-death, but the world now operates on cellular networks and WiFi. Disrupt those systems, and the whole world is disrupted.
What keeps those critical systems functioning properly is, in part, RF shielding. Every single WiFi router on the planet is both a small source of RFI and sensitive to RFI. No cellular network would be immune to disrupted signals without shielding. Smart watches, Internet of Things (IoT) devices and a growing number of other products rely on signal transmission that would fall prey to RFI if not for RF shielding.