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    EMI Shielding is No Longer an Option but a Requirement in Modern Automotive

    Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) shielding for wireless devices is commonly achieved by using metal faraday cages, commonly called “cans” or “lids” that are soldered to a PCB board. EMI Shielding has become very prominent when it comes to wireless equipment. We have quite a lot of them in our automotive parts. EMI shielding is also witnessed to be vital in EVs. With every advancement in automotive or nowadays we can even think of autonomous driving, uninterrupted communication is a must from the driver to the automobile or even inside automotive parts too. EMI Shielding makes the safety features a little too easy from the consumer’s end.

    Electroninks’ materials are currently being tested for mini and micro-LED display technology which is the core of infotainment tech in vehicles. Electroninks’ silver ink is a key component for EMI shielding use cases like EV charging stations. They are also developing a nickel ink that may have use cases in battery cathodes and EV cathodes.

    TimesEV Sub Editor Sheeba Chauhan get in touch with Melbs LeMieux, Co-founder and President of Electroninks, Inc. to have a delineate conversation on EMI shielding usage in automotive parts and materials.

    Excerpt:

    Melbs LeMieux, Co-founder and President of Electroninks, Inc.

    TimesEV: For the entire automotive industry that is bullish on EVs, EMI shielding has a pivotal role to play. Please expound further on the same.

    Melbs LeMieux: EMI shielding is no longer an option but a requirement when creating modern automobiles – especially EVs. Many vehicles now include complex displays and require Bluetooth and wireless connectivity. To put it into perspective, a Ford Focus uses roughly 300 semiconductor chips, whereas the electric Mach-e utilizes almost 3,000 semiconductor chips. But there are different chips sets for different functionalities.

    Reliability is needed:

    • Particle-free inks can save space and reduce weight
    • The ability to use a thin metal film offers both those advantages while also being more environmentally friendly
    • EMI shielding is vital in EVs: Everything that needs to be shielded is smaller and more compact; everything is connected, and new safety features rely upon uninterrupted communication.

    TimesEV: How is Electroninks’ product helpful in EMI shielding applications? How is it more beneficial to other inks on the market?

    Melbs LeMieux: EVs need to have reliable technology that can sustain very high or low temperatures. Electroninks’ metal complex inks can sustain a variety of extreme temperatures – especially extremely high temperatures – which makes them extremely reliable.

    Electroninks’ strategic partnership with Merck EMD further proves the reliability of their product as Merck is a standing symbol of reliability in this industry. Particle-free inks can also contribute to space and weight savings through the metallization of thin and flexible films that can be used throughout EVs.

    EVSE (EV Supply Equipment, ex. charging station) will equip wireless technology like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, which means EMI (Electromagnetic interference) shielding will be required. Electroninks’ product, particle-free silver ink for EMI shielding applications, will be beneficial for such a new market. Electroninks’ particle-free silver inks have a lower cost and better performance than other inks on the market.

    TimesEV: EV Supply Equipment will equip wireless technology like Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi, which means EMI (Electromagnetic interference) shielding will be required. What’s an alternative to EMI Shielding for smooth processing of EMI Shielding?

    Melbs LeMieux: Depending on the size of the equipment, if there is space, PVD sputtering and metal films and cans can be used as an alternative for the metallization of each device.

    TimesEV: In EMI shielding, what advantages does particle-free ink have in terms of processability compared to particle-based ink for shielding?

    Melbs LeMieux: For EMI shielding, particle-free ink has a significant advantage in terms of processability compared to particle-based ink.

    Applications include:

    • EMI shielding capabilities at charging stations.
    • Electronic vehicles themselves also require shielding technology.
    • E-textiles like artificial leather or dashboards
    • Large panel displays that require micro-LEDs
    • The reliability of particle-free ink films is more reliable than nano-particle analogs.

    TimesEV: What is Electroninks’ contribution to the automotive infotainment and electric vehicle charging infrastructure?

    Melbs LeMieux: Electroninks’ materials are currently being tested for mini and micro LED display technology which is the core of infotainment tech in vehicles. Electroninks’ silver ink is a key component for EMI shielding use cases like EV charging stations. Electroninks is also developing a nickel ink that may have use cases in battery cathodes and EV cathodes.

    TimesEV: Regarding EMI Shielding for wireless modules, the deposition method for Electroninks’ product is spray coating. What challenges can come up with this procedure?

    Melbs LeMieux: There are not many downsides regarding the procedure of spray coating itself. Inertia is the biggest concern – getting manufacturers to change an antiquated process. We need to make sure that the tools we use – whether it be spray coating or jetting – can be adapted easily into automobile production lines. It’s difficult to teach customers about new materials when production lines haven’t changed much in this major scale in decades. Printed inks are cheaper and have less of a footprint than conventional metallization but they still need to be integrated into production lines. Particle-free technology is new for the automobile industry, which is an industry that changes slowly. So, it will take time to broadly adapt it.

    TimesEV: Does Electroninks’ have any plans to step into the EV revolution this year or in the future?

    Melbs LeMieux: Electroninks is already working with automotive supply chain vendors and OEMS to introduce this tech into the automotive industry. Electroninks is working with a few companies right now that are dedicated to the automotive sector.

    Sheeba Chauhan | Sub Editor | TimesEV