Aug, 10 2020

Silver Price is Rising: How Will It Impact EMI Gasket Price?



Silver Price is Rising: How Will It Impact EMI Gasket Price?

Silver prices are high and could keep climbing as uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. presidential election continues to rise. If silver prices keep increasing, the silver-coated particles that are used in some EMI gasket materials will become more expensive. How expensive these shielding elastomers get is a question that gasket designers and buyers cannot afford to ignore. By reviewing your gasket drawings and material requirements now, you could reduce costs and achieve a competitive advantage.

Back to the Future

If the 1970s are a guide, the market for precious metals will lead to an urgent search for less expensive filler materials. Back when the price of silver was between $4.00 and $5.50 per Troy ounce, suppliers could fill shielding elastomers with highly conductive silver-coated particles without regard to cost. Decades later, however, silver started approaching $50.00 per Troy ounce. As the cost of EMI gaskets soared, engineers reconsidered their options and buyers contacted their vendors. A cost-effective filler material that had the qualities of silver without the high prices was needed.  

In response, Specialty Silicone Products (SSP) optimized its nickel-graphite filled silicone so that it performs at the shielding levels of silver-aluminum filled products. The U.S. military’s MIL-DTL-83528 standard specifies a minimum shielding effectiveness of 100 dB, but SSP’s nickel-graphite formula reaches 125dB. Without sacrificing shielding, corrosion resistance or physical properties, SSP developed the cost-effective alternative to silver-aluminum silicones that the market required. Today, SSP’s nickel-graphite silicones are available in continuous rolls with custom widths and thicknesses, including ultra-thin (.010”) materials.

Keep Your Edge in Uncertain Times

SSP is continuing to innovate as we help customers find solutions to pressing challenges. For example, when W.L. Gore published a recent end-of-life notification about two flame-resistant EMI shielding materials, SSP began filling this gap in the marketplace. Today, we supply two nickel-graphite silicones that are offsets to discontinued GORE® EMI gasket materials. SSP-502-40-V0 and SSP-502-60-V0 are backed by technical data, including UL V0 test summaries and the results of ASTM E595 outgas testing. Both materials are Made in the USA at our Ballston Spa, New York facility. 

SSP’s commitment to being your supply chain partner instead of just another material supplier is a key part of what we makes us different. As we monitor global markets for risks, we work to help our customers find the lowest-cost solutions for their applications. It’s no secret that silver costs are rising, so isn’t it time you learn more about how SSP can help? Watch this video about EMI gasket materials for more information, or ask for our Nickel-Graphite vs. Silver-Aluminum white paper when you contact SSP on-line or email Dominic Testo.