EMI: Materials and Technologies

Published - Jul 2003| Analyst - Melvin Schlechter| Code - PLS005G
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Report Highlights

  • Demand in the U.S. for EMI/RFI shielding options was estimated at more than $500 million in 2002 and, rising at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 3.2%, is expected to exceed $600 million by 2008.
  • Conductive coatings represent the largest market segment, but will grow at an AAGR of only 2.2% to $267 million in 2008.
  • Metal cabinets are the second largest segment, and will grow at an AAGR of 4.8% through the period to $267 million.
  • The $15 million laminate tape market also will rise at a 4.8% AAGR.
  • Conductive plastics and tapes will not see significant growth through 2008.


This BCC study is an updated version of several earlier EMI shielding reports. The objective in each report is to review and analyze electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI) problems, along with electrostatic discharge (ESD) issues, that are encountered in the operation of electronic equipment, and present the implications for plastics and competitive materials and technologies used to suppress that interference.

Each study compares past trends and near-term future forecasts in plastics EMI/RFI shielding. There are several important differences in the shielding industry of today compared to the industry of several years ago, primarily due to the increased number and quantity of devices and components requiring shielding. Another difference is the ever-higher frequencies being encountered along with the proliferation of wireless devices that may result in a shifting of shielding options. This study will analyze and quantify effects on material use caused by these and other issues.

The size and growth of the U.S. market for EMI/RFI shielding products is a function of several factors. Shielding not only closely follows the demand for electronic devices and components, but also is a valuable resource to assist manufacturers in complying with ever-changing safety and performance regulations. Consequently, the study summarizes the regulatory environment in the United States and internationally.

This market analysis offers resin manufacturers, plastics compounders and plastics processors an analysis of factors that impact on their ability to serve the electronics industry with neat and/or filled resins. Concurrently, electronics design engineers and electronics OEMs and assemblers can evaluate cost/performance advantages of various plastics shielding methods for their particular applications.

The report begins with an understanding of the issues involved, then moves to the current state of the electronics and other industries, market for plastics-based shielding options, key participants, shielding technologies and materials, shielding components and finally, covers the worldwide regulatory and standards environment for electronic shielding.


This report provides coverage of:


  • The nature of the EMI/RFI problem
  • Government regulatory rationale for seeking greater electromagnetic compatability (EMC) control
  • Feasible EMI/RFI solutions
  • Analysis of competition between plastics and metals as options for shielding electronic equipment enclosures, showing advantages and disadvantages of each option
  • The size of the market for plastics in EMI/RFI shielding and forecasts through 2008
  • Perceptions of the cost/performance of plastics and metals among the U.S. electronics OEMs and system assemblers.



Several procedures were used to gather information and included


  • a review of EMI supplier literature;
  • an analysis of the electronics industry in terms of EMI shielding; and
  • contacts with EMI suppliers, trade associations, editors of trade magazines, etc.



Mel Schlechter has been a research analyst for BCC covering polymers and chemicals for over 10 years. Mr. Schlechter has over 30 years in the chemical industry. B.S., Chemistry; M.S., Organic Chemistry; M.B.A., Marketing.

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