Electromagnetic Radiation is Like Kryptonite to Devices – March 2021

Electromagnetic radiation. What is this exactly? To the layman, it sounds like something that a villain would use against a superhero. In a way, it truly is reminiscent of comic books.

Electromagnetic radiation actually refers to the waves from the electromagnetic spectrum, including radio waves, microwaves, infrared, (visible) light, ultraviolet, X-rays, and gamma rays, that radiate through the atmosphere and space.

These waves, while useful for a plethora of purposes, can also interfere with modern gadgetry operating at different frequencies and can cause irreparable damage to electrical components.

Electromagnetic interference (EMI) is caused by an electronic device sending radio frequency or electromagnetic waves to another device which can disrupt critical equipment and systems that we depend on every day such as those in:

  • Medical
  • Military
  • Aerospace
  • Mass transit
  • Navigation systems

Blocking disruptive interference is why EMI shielding is so important. The devices we depend on every day to keep us safe are in everyone’s best interest to protect.

HX5 to the Rescue

Independent testing in 2020 confirmed Alpine Advanced Materials’ HX5™ to have exceptional attenuation, which is rare for a thermoplastic product. High attenuation means parts made with HX5 greatly reduce the interference from varying radio and electronic frequencies with each other. HX5 is a nanocomposite that can replace aluminum and other metals in manufacturing essential parts that must perform with near-perfect accuracy.

When it comes to the science behind the coating, Signature Plating’s SignaShield meets ISO 22196:2011 standards for reducing microbes on part surfaces and preventing the spread of bacteria. Coated HX5 also meets this certification. Tests show surfaces coated with SignaShield reduce microbial loads and the potential for cross-contamination, with the antimicrobial protection lasting for the lifetime of the coated part.

HX5 can be used for a wide variety of applications such as electronic enclosures, battery encasements, and navigation systems.

Branding Catalyze

“If part coating can inherently be its own defense and not need to be cleaned as often, then you have a tremendous advantage,” adds Zane Leake, vice president of sales for Signature Plating. “We are constantly developing new finish processes to address market needs, and the combination of our decorative finishes with the antimicrobial protection of SignaShield means Alpine parts can deliver weight savings along with a layer of tested and certified protection.”

Surviving in Galaxies Near and Far

Additionally, HX5 performs extremely well when exposed to harmful electromagnetic radiation found in space. Recent testing of HX5 revealed no cosmetic or performance degradation after prolonged UVA, UVB, or UVC exposure. We also tested its resilience to gamma radiation, and the material only suffered 5% degradation against a whopping 5 million rads. Ideal for interior spacecraft applications, HX5 can also sustain extreme G-forces and temperature ranges.

Electronic enclosures and military equipment have traditionally been limited to being plated or coated with steel, aluminum, copper, or nickel to reduce the EMI on critical systems. However, those metals often add weight and cost to manufacture. HX5, which is 50% the weight of 6061-T6 aluminum but still 90% as strong, has some inherent EMI shielding capabilities that can be boosted by plating/coating and can be used in lieu of these metal materials and help combat electromagnetic radiation better than other composite materials on the market.

HX5 Protects Closer to Home

While HX5 can thrive in space, it is also needed here on planet Earth. When military and defense systems rely on radio waves and GPS navigation, equipment failure shouldn’t occur because of faulty material. Using HX5 that is protected from electromagnetic waves, ensures reliable and lightweight equipment is always operational and ready for defense combat missions.

When communication and performance matter most, HX5 can deliver.  Click here to learn more about HX5.