Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - 18

EMI Shielding

enclosures to ensure they do not damage other systems. Traditional material
choices have been aluminum or copper,
which are used to plate, coat, or even
paint other part materials that on their
own would allow interference. These
parts are often then coated with nickel
to prevent corrosion. Cabling, which is
at risk for conducted interference, is
made with more flexible materials like a
copper or stainless steel mesh over the
outside, and with a protective jacket or
even an overmold.
Two independent labs tested both
coated and bare HX5 to investigate the
relationship between film thickness
and attenuation for a range of frequencies from 10 kHz to 40 GHz using testing specifications IEEE 299-2006 and
MIL-STD-285. Results showed that HX5
can be plated for EMI shielding at a
range of 12 kHZ to 40 GHz, while also
securing data for electrical surface and
volume resistivity for bare and plated
HX5, confirming both electroless plating for EMI shielding and shielding effectiveness. In fact, test results showed
comparable and even higher attenuation levels for bare HX5 versus plated
samples for certain frequencies from 12
GHz to 40 GHz.
Developed over more than a decade of
testing and validation by the Department
of Defense with an R&D investment in
excess of $50 million, HX5 was engineered to replace machined aerospacegrade aluminum at half the weight. Last
year it was shown in third-party testing
to retain up to 96% of its original mechanical performance when subjected to
5 million rads of gamma radiation. It has
also demonstrated extreme corrosion resistance to solvents, fuels, lubricants, and chemicals, giving it
Due to its high surface energy, HX5 can easily
be coated, primed or plated to achieve virtualthe ability to withstand the most
ly any desired outward appearance.
demanding applications.
Currently in use on jet fighters,
high-speed helicopters, unmanned
aerial vehicles, amphibious transport vehicles, rockets, and satellites, HX5 is highly adaptable without sacrificing strength or
performance. The EMI testing results expanded the realm of possibilities for HX5 parts. With a high
strength-to-weight ratio, thermal
stability, environmental resistance,

ing its potential threat
in potentially affecting aerospace systems.
EMI shielding is such a
valuable characteristic,
that we were pleasantly
surprised when we recently discovered EMI
shielding characteristics for
our
flagship
material
HX5™. While it is not an insulator or a good conductor
with a surface resistivity of 37.9
Ohm/Sq. and a volume resistivity of
ARINC connectors similar to this are abundant on com2923 Ohm-cm, testing found that
mercial airliners. Replacing traditional aluminum components with HX5 results in greater weight savings. HX5
the lightweight aviation grade thercan also withstand temperatures from -65°F up to
moplastic nanocomposite had excep500°F and meets flame, smoke and toxicity (FST)
tional attenuation when bare or plated
requirements for commercial aerospace and
defense applications.
with various thicknesses of nickel and
copper. A highly engineered material,
HX5 had already demonstrated its
Electromagnetic pulses (EMPs) are
strength and performance for use in
more intense bursts of electromagnetic
complex components, but the results of
energy that can damage electronics.
EMI testing made it an even more attracWhile they can occur naturally in
tive material for use in electronics.
something like a lightning storm, EMPs
Thermoplastics usually have minican also be manmade to create radimal attenuation, but high attenuation
ated, electric or magnetic fields. In milmeans parts made with HX5 prevent
itary applications, they can take the
varying radio and electronic frequenform of either Nuclear Electromagnetic
cies from interfering with each other.
Pulses (NEPs) or Non-nuclear ElectroThe level of attenuation relates to the
magnetic Pulses like Boeing's Counteramount of carbon in the system, as well
electronics High Power Microwave Adas how deeply it is embedded in the
vanced Missile Project (CHAMP). The
material. Additionally, as a nanocomCHAMP is a directed-energy weapon
posite, the cross-linking nanofibers crethat can intentionally damage elecate a mesh that can inhibit transmistronic systems, or take out signals in an
sion similar to a Faraday Cage, an
area. Since the technology is relatively
enclosure used to block EM fields.
simple, it is not limited to only highly
For radiated interference in aerodeveloped countries and organizations
space, HX5 is ideal for electronic device
like nuclear power, therefore broaden-

18

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Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021

Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Intro
Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Sponsor
Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Cov1
Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Cov2
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Aerospace & Defense Technology - April 2021 - Cov3
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