EMI Shielding Tape - How to Use and Applications

In shielding applications where flexibility and space savings is paramount, conductive tape is often used. EMI shielding tape is also economical and easy to use, qualities that make it a viable option for many shielding situations. In this post, we explain how to use EMI shielding tape in different applications, including your options for this type of EMI material.

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What is EMI Shielding Tape?

EMI shielding tape is a type of thin conductive film or foil that is meant to block EMI from leaving or reaching sensitive electrical components. This type of shielding material comes in different versions: It can also be shielding tape with adhesive backing or without, or tape that also equipped with an insulating layer. There’s also the option for single or double EMI shielding tape, and conductive or non-conductive adhesive.

Most importantly, EMI shielding tape is made from different materials. Each material has its own shielding and other properties such as mechanical strength or heat and corrosion resistance. This, below, is a list of shielding tape materials together with their characteristics.

Copper EMI Shielding Tape

Copper EMI shielding tape is a popular option for this type of shield, given its higher conductivity when compared to other materials. This type of tape is available in different formats: single or double sided, with or without adhesive backing, and different sizes.

In addition to its excellent shielding capabilities, copper EMI shielding tape is easy to attach to different materials surfaces. Common applications for this type of shield include use in cellular phones, computers, and many other electronic devices.

Aluminum Shielding Tape

Aluminum is also another popular material for EMI tape. Compared to copper, aluminum shielding tape is a lighter and more cost-effective option. You can also use it with many other different materials, especially when extra protection is required, mostly due to its being thin and lightweight.

Aluminum shielding tape, just like any other type, is made in many different forms, from tape with conductive adhesive to that without. With ability to shield against a range of frequencies, this material is also usable in many ways, including the shielding of electronic equipment and wires.

Mu-Metal Shielding Tape

MuMetal is defined as a type of alloy that’s made by mixing iron and nickel and some other metals. This produces an EMI shielding material that has a high magnetic permeability to effectively block the magnetic component of electromagnetic waves.

Mu-metal shielding tape has these properties as an EMI material: excellent flexibility coupled with high mechanical strength for a material that you can use in a broad range of industries. These include electronic gadgets, transformers, and more.

Shielding Fabric Tape

Shielding fabric tape is a flexible alternative to metal foil tape, offering higher versatility features for specific applications. This type of EMI shielding tape features a backing made of conductive fabric, typically polyester, and a coating of copper nickel.

Shielding fabric tape, with its high flexibility, is used in applications where great conformity is required. Uses include situations where the shield goes around shapes and corners. In addition to its use in electronic devices, shielding fabric tape is a preferred material during product design and prototyping.

How to use EMI shielding tape
How to use EMI shielding tape
Resource: http://paulorenato.com

How to use EMI Shielding Tape

EMI shielding tape is typically used to cover non-shielded enclosures, such as plastic housings, and cables. When used on cables, the tape is often combined with other shielding materials such a braid. In applications where the shielding tape is being used on metal enclosures, it’s usually a material to cover seams. Here, it seals openings that may provide entry or exit points for EMI are left open.

Shielding Tape for Cables

One of the most common ways to use EMI shielding tape is covering cables. These can be power carrying or signal wires. In most cases and as earlier indicated, this application requires a combination of different materials including braided covers. That’s because one material may not provide the required level of shielding.

When using EMI shield cable to wrap around cable or similar uses, its recommend to ensure a 50 percent overlapping of the tape. This ensures proper coverage and, thus, shielding. It’s also usually necessary to ground the shield.

EMI Gasket Tape

EMI gasket tape here refers to the type of tape uses to cover openings that may be present on a shielding material. This usually includes the seams of a metal shield or faraday cage. It ensures total coverage, just like when wrapping cables.  

In most applications, the EMI gasket tape must offer good shielding characteristics. It should also be made from a material or adhesive that’s compatible with the material to be covered. Depending on the usage conditions, it may also be crucial that the tape withstands environmental conditions such as heat and corrosion.

Copper foil EMI shielding tape
Copper foil EMI shielding tape
Resource: https://www.tdpri.com

Shielding Paint vs. Tape

How does EMI shielding tape compare to shielding paint? Shielding tape is typically made from metal foil, while pain is often, made using carbon or nickel particles. And while you can use either material based on application requirements, one of them offers superior shielding characteristics.

  • Shielding tape, being more conductive, provides better shielding capabilities than paint. However, paint is easier to apply than tape, seeing that you do not need to precision-cut anything.

  • But tape is easier to remove when necessary, unlike shielding paint that may not be removable once applied. You may also find the shiny nature of tape more attractive than paint.

Overall, each type of material has its best application. Based on your shielding needs and other characteristics discussed above, you may want to prefer one over the other. EMI tape for more demanding shielding needs and paint when


Emi shielding tape is one of the most used materials for protecting against the effects of EMI. Versatile and easy to use, it provides an effective shield that is also relatively straightforward to use. It’s also available in different materials, which means more options for different applications such as electronics, shielding cables, and more.

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