Materials Question

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by Sensacell, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. Sensacell

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2012
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    What type of metal are those RF shielding enclosures you find soldered to PCB's typically made of? I am guessing it's half-hard brass, with tin plating?

    I need to design a shielding enclosure that will "tab" into my PC board to enclose some circuitry, anyone know of some good design resources for this type of application? This is a high-volume application.

    Thanks.
     
  2. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    Probably you best source of information is the firm that is actually going to do the manufacturing. The should have the necessary experience to answer your questions knowledgably and, if they don't, then you should probably consider going with a different firm -- high-volume production is not the time to be playing with someone that doesn't know what they are doing, at least not for something that is far from cutting edge new technology.
     
  3. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Traditionally they are tin plated steel, and at a hobby level the radio guys use tin food cans cut and flattened and bent to shape.

    Some of the more modern devices, particularly smaller expensive devices like cellphones and some radios use brass shields which are usually brass coloured. Larger consumer stuff like in LCD monitors and laptops use tin plated steel shielding which is tin coloured.

    China is full of manufacturers who can make your shielding to suit your high volume product, try Alibaba.com or one of theose Asian resources directory sites.
     
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  4. WBahn

    Moderator

    Mar 31, 2012
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    When I needed shielding I went to Home Depot or Hobby Lobby or similar and got brash sheeting. Was usually only a couple bucks and was really easy to work with. Frankly, didn't even think of using an empty food can - though the stuff I was doing at the time was proof-of-concept prototypes and appearances did coun't for something (though one of my prototypes was packaged in a section of sewer pipe from Home Depot, but I put a lot of time and detail into it and it actually looked pretty damn good - we called it R2D2 and it was only supposed to be used for about a month but it was going strong and still being used several years later).
     
  5. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
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  6. THE_RB

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 11, 2008
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    Surprisingly, guys with some skill can make really pro looking shielding from old tinplate. It's usually extremely malleable metal and can be cut bent and shaped very well. Even the ribbed sides from tin cans can be flattened to be very presentable.

    I keep some stocks of shielding from equipment, usually when it is large flat panels of thin material, thin enough to work easily (you can even cut it with strong scissors). Of course the large flat bits are more useful to cut up into small shapes.

    LCD TVs and monitors are good sources of large flat shielding pieces.
     
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