What were SSP’s most popular products of 2023? And what do last year’s lessons tell us about 2024? It’s impossible to predict the future, but here are some predictions for the year ahead based on what we learned over the last 12 months. Whether you’re an engineer, a buyer, or a fabricator, you’ll want to know what to expect in 2024 so that you can design and build the best products.
#1 EMI Gaskets and EMI O-Rings Replace More Standard Seals
Throughout 2023, SSP fielded urgent requests from companies with devices that failed EMI testing. These products were either new designs or next-generation versions of existing technologies with higher-than-expected RF emissions levels. Because the product designers hadn’t expected issues with standard or legacy gaskets, project timelines were put at risk.
In response, SSP provided complete sealing and shielding solutions. Some projects required EMI O-rings. Others needed cut or molded EMI gaskets instead. Because SSP makes its own tooling in-house, we quickly produced the jigs, fixtures, and molds that were needed. We also helped mechanical engineers with material selection since conductive elastomers can be harder and more brittle than standard gasketing.
#2 Demand for Low Outgassing Materials Continues to Soar
Satellite communications and space exploration are fast-growing markets that need low-outgassing EMI silicones that meet the requirements of ASTM E595, a standard test method for total mass loss (TML) and collected volatile condensable materials (CVCM). When volatile compounds evaporate in the low vacuum of outer space, they can condense on sensitive microelectronics and optics and cause devices to fail.
Even before 2023, SSP made major investments in low-outgassing EMI silicones like SSP502-40-V0 and SSP-502-60-V0, offsets to discontinued GORE materials. Then last year, SSP introduced SSP502-55LT, a low-outgassing EMI silicone that withstands extreme cold. SSP also makes standard low-outgassing silicones and low-temperature silicones in sheets, moldable compounds, and custom-molded parts.
#3 EMI Frame Gaskets Keep Cutting Costs and Waste
Molded EMI gaskets that are shaped like a picture frame have helped SSP’s customers reduce material waste by as much as 80%. The cost savings can be considerable. That’s because EMI materials like silver-aluminum silicones are expensive, and a sheet generally yields just one or two cut gaskets. Unless parts are nested, both the middle of the frame and any excess along the edges get discarded.
To reduce waste and meet dimensional requirements, SSP molds frame-style EMI gaskets in a slightly larger size than the actual part. We then trim the gasket to size or send it to a fabricator for final processing. Either way, SSP can leverage its in-house machine shop, engineering capabilities, and R&D team to create low-cost or sometimes no-cost molds. Molded designs also reduce the risks associated with joining cut lengths.
Advanced Materials for Better Products
Based on our experience in 2023, SSP anticipates that all three of these trends will continue into 2024. Whether you’re replacing standard gasketing with EMI elastomers, looking for low-outgassing silicones, or need molded frame-style EMI gaskets, we have what you need – and more. Visit the Products section of the website for additional details, or contact us.