Besides the procurement cost of shielding material, customers are required to incorporate the shields into electrical or electronic enclosures. This means they have to incur additional costs associated with integration and assembly. Most of the shielding material choices are expensive because they are designed from special alloys. But, there are multiple ways to reduce the cost of magnetic shields. Here are three of them:
1. Change the Material Composition
Reduce material cost by using an alloy that has low nickel content. This is a preferable option if you’re unable to reduce the material thickness due to technical constraints. Choose low-cost mild steel whose base price is only one-twentieth of that of nickel. You may, however, have to electroplate it with another material with high Nickel content. If you are using the mild steel to house the component, you can even eliminate integration costs and lower the material cost by one part. Plated steel shielding is economical for all volumes of shield manufacturing.
2. Use Thinner Material
Most types of magnetic shielding material contain about 80 percent nickel. Based on a 2013 estimate, the cost of the metal is approximately $8.00 per pound while steel costs only $0.50 per pound. When you reduce the shield thickness, the amount of nickel applied per shield is also reduced. Design a 0.008 or 0.004-inch shield to reduce material cost to a considerable extent.
3. Simplify the Shielding Process
Conventional options of shielding material are designed from sheet metal and use complex metal working procedures such as drawing, forming, stamping, soldering, and/or welding. These processes can be quite expensive, especially when special tooling or fixtures are required. Instead, consider a simple shield design that can either reduce setups or operational steps.