Custom cable assemblies that are used to transmit data are especially vulnerable to interference from heavily electronic environments. It is essential to protect cable assemblies from electromagnetic interference (EMI) through the use of shielded cable assemblies. Shielded cable assemblies are used in a number of different fields and can be extremely useful in protecting data.
But what exactly are shielded cable assemblies, and what are they necessary? We’ll show you the finer points of these remarkable cables, why they are needed, and a few of the arenas in which they are best put to use.
Electromagnetic Interference: The Danger to Data
In electronically heavy environments like offices or data centers, there is significant electromagnetic interference that can disturb the transmission of data. Also referred to as “electronic noise”, EMI can interfere with data transmission to either partially corrupt or completely destroy the data. This interference is due to either electromagnetic conduction or electromagnetic radiation from the external electrical components within the area. The source of the EMI could be from other machinery, electronic equipment, or a naturally occurring phenomenon.
The cable assemblies used in electronically noisy areas need to be protected from EMI. EMI can significantly impact the effectiveness of data transmission using cable assemblies. By interfering with the cable assemblies’ ability to transmit data effectively, EMI can be a severe issue for an unshielded cable assembly. While a cable's insulation and jacket helps protect the conductors from moisture, breaks, and kinks, they do not protect from any type of EMI.
Shielded Cable Assemblies: Defending the Data
Because EMI is a prevalent problem in any number of work environments, shielded cable assemblies are all the more critical for data protection. Shielded cables are made with an additional layer of protection on the inner cable to act as a barrier from EMI. The shield is installed around the transmitting conductors and functions in two ways to defend against EMI data corruption.
The two primary ways that a shielded cable assembly protects the conductors from EMI are:
- Reflecting energy: First, the shield within a cable acts as a physical shield that deflects the energy from EMI and disperses it away from the conductors. This shielding effectiveness can vary based on the thickness of the shielding, the materials used, and the purpose of the custom cable assemblies.
- Ground the energy: The second way that a shielded cable assembly serves to protect the conductor components is to conduct the energy from the EMI around the outside of the inner cable and bring the electronic noise to a grounded state.
Shielding Types: The Particulars of Conductor Protection
Depending on the cable assembly's use, the shielding type can vary between two shielding types or have a combination shielding of both. There are a few main methods of shielding used to protect cable conductors from EMI: foil shielding and braided shielding.
Application for Custom Shielded Cable Assemblies
There are nearly limitless fields in which shielded cable assemblies are necessary. As diverse as the landscape of work environments can be, the list of places where custom shielded cable assemblies can be used is equally diverse. Because shielded cable assemblies provide protection for the data transmitted with the cables themselves, shielding is a vital component in many industries such as:
Let Meridian Cable Build Your Custom Shielded Cable Assembly
Meridian Cable is proud to be a leading manufacturer of custom shielded cable assemblies with decades of experience. Our in-house engineers work with you throughout every step of the design and prototyping process to ensure that your custom shielded cable assembly is perfect for your project. Contact our team to get started today.