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1, FEBRUARY 2010 75

A Wide-Frequency Model of Metal Foam

for Shielding Applications

Onofrio Losito, Member, IEEE, Domenico Barletta, and Vincenzo Dimiccoli

Abstract—The use of metal foam continues to grow in terms

of research and application. Recently, new developments in the

electromagnetic (EM) environment, such as shielding applications,

have been proposed. A model of metal foam shielding is devel-

oped and discussed in this paper to characterize and simulate the

EM shielding behavior. More speciﬁcally, the EM characteriza-

tion has been considered, and experimental shielding effectiveness

measurements have been performed. These new double wire-mesh

screens, obtained as a development of previously planar shields, al-

low the design of metal foam EM shields, showing good agreement

results among this model, some prototype of this model, and metal

foams. The good agreements among data pave the way to improve

the model for the low-frequency metal foams behavior.

Index Terms—Double shielding, metal foams, shielding effec-

tiveness (SE), wire-mesh screens.

I. INTRODUCTION

M

ETAL foams have attracted engineers worldwide for

decades because of their incomparable combination of

lightweight structure, good acoustic and thermal isolation prop-

erties, strong impact absorption, and vibration damping capa-

bilities [1]. Recently, new developments in the electromagnetic

(EM) environment, such as shielding applications, will hope-

fully trigger the development of new applications and/or im-

provement of the existing ones.

Fig. 1 shows an example of an open cell aluminium foam.

We can note that its low apparent density and its capability to

allow both light and air transmission can be useful in several

applications.

The analysis of the shielding properties of different kinds

of metal foams discussed in [2] has shown that metal foams

are complex and random structures, which require sophisticated

numerical models that are computationally onerous, challenging

the development of metal foam analytical models.

From the rigorous and exhaustive overview of the most

adopted processes to make metal foams described in [1], we

have reported only a few, such as “gas-injection,” the easiest

to implement with aluminium alloy. Another interesting set of

Manuscript received December 4, 2008; revised May 10, 2009 and August

11, 2009. First published January 29, 2010; current version published February

18, 2010. This work was supported by POR 2002–2006, Regione-Puglia, Italy

(Axis III, measured 3.12 act. A, int. sp. A.1).

O. Losito was with ITEL Telecomunicazioni S. r. l., Ruvo di Puglia, Bari

70033, Italy. He is now with the Electromagnetics Fields Group, Department of

Electrotechnics and Electronic, Politecnico di Bari, Bari 70125, Italy (e-mail:

losito@deemail.poliba.it).

D. Barletta and V. Dimiccoli are with ITEL Telecomunicazioni S. r. l., Ruvo

di Puglia, Bari 70033, Italy (e-mail: d.barletta@itelte.it; v.dimiccoli@itelte.it).

Color versions of one or more of the ﬁgures in this paper are available online

at http://ieeexplore.ieee.org.

Digital Object Identiﬁer 10.1109/TEMC.2009.2035109

Fig. 1. Example of open cell aluminium foam.

manufacturing methodologies is based on liquid-state process-

ing or metal deposition on cellular platform.

Apart from the adopted processes, the most important param-

eters of metal foam are the relative density and the pore size.

Relative (or apparent) density is the volume of foam material

relative to the volume of material in a solid block of the base

material, and it inﬂuences foam stiffness, strength, and both

electrical and thermal conductivity. Pore size represents instead

the pore dimension and is strongly connected to the number

of pores per linear inch (PPI), an important characteristic for

optical capacity, speciﬁc surface area, and ﬂuid ﬂow resistance.

Varying the values of PPI and relative density, it is possible to

obtain a different EM characteristics property.

The planar wire-mesh screen model, developed by Casey [3]

and compared with a commercial aluminium shield, perforated

periodically with apertures was a ﬁrst step to solve the EM

problem in rigorous evaluation of the metal foam’s shielding

effectiveness (SE) [4]. Encouraged by the results, we have im-

proved the previously planar model and developed a new EM

model. Therefore, the EM shielding behavior of a metal foam

slab was investigated considering a shield model with double

wire-mesh layers, separated by an air space. The single screen,

whose meshes are assumed to be square is described by an

equivalent sheet impedance operator as mentioned in [3]. The

agreement of both experimental and theoretical data is a chal-

lenge to optimize this model.

In the following section, we have described the metal foams

model developed to predict their EM shielding behavior. In

Section IV, results obtained by CST Microwave Studio (CST

MS) simulations are described, in order to validate our model.

Section V describes the results given for experimental mea-

surements of a metal foam slab and the theoretical new model.

Finally, conclusions are drawn in Section VI.

0018-9375/$26.00 © 2010 IEEE

76 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY, VOL. 52, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 2010

Fig. 2. Geometry of an individual square wire-mesh. The wire junctions are

assumed to be bonded.

II. WIRE-MESH SCREEN MODEL

The analysis of complex foam structures is not possible with

simple numerical models and algorithms. Moreover, an accurate

analysis with numerical models is computationally onerous. A

possible solution to improve the time of the computational anal-

ysis of foams is the development of an analytical model, which

describes their EM behavior in a simple way.

The ﬁrst step to develop the newmodel of metal foams for our

purposes is to modify a planar wire-mesh screen with bounded

junction as mentioned in [4], using the same dimensions of

the ligaments and pore of a thin metal foam slab. The screen

geometry is shown in Fig. 2.

This laminated shield can be described electromagnetically

by an equivalent sheet impedance operator Z

s

, when the mesh

dimensions are small compared to wavelength [3]. The operator

Z

s

relates the tangential electric ﬁeld E

s

to the surface current

density on the screen as

E

s

= Z

s

×J

s

. (1)

The equivalent sheet impedance for a screen with square

meshes of dimension a

s

×a

s

is

Z

s

= (Z

w

a

s

+jωL

s

)(I −nn) +

jωL

s

2K

0

ε

r

∇

s

×∇

s

(2)

where Z

w

is the internal impedance per unit length of the mesh

wire, K

0

is the free-space wavenumber, and ∇

s

denotes the

surface del operator. I is the idem factor or identity dyadic, n is

a unit vector normal to the surface occupied by the mesh, and

L

s

the sheet inductance parameter is

L

s

=

µ

0

a

s

2π

ln

1 −e

−2πr

w

/a

s

−1

(3)

where r

w

is the radius of the mesh wires.

If we consider a plane wave, in order to evaluate the effec-

tiveness of a planar mesh screen, it is necessary to evaluate the

transmission coefﬁcient.

Fig. 3. Complete SE equation compared with the planar (2-D) model.

In the case where the mesh wires are perfectly conducting,

we have [3]

SE = −20 log

10

(2ωL

s

/Z

0

)

1 + (2ωL

s

/Z

0

)

2

(4)

where Z

0

is the free-space characteristic impedance.

Consider the equation for SE [6]

SE

dB

= A

dB

+R

dB

+B

dB

. (5)

We knowthat A is the absorption loss of the wave for a screen

thickness much greater than a skin depth, which becomes

A

dB

= 8.686αl (6)

where l is the thickness of the screen. For a wire-mesh screen,

α is equal to

α =

2π

λ

c

1 −

f

f

c

2

. (7)

Moreover, R is the reﬂection loss term, and according to [6]

it is equal to

R

dB

= 20 log

10

(1 +K)

2

4K

(8)

where K = L

s

/Z

0

for a wire-mesh screen.

Finally, B represents the multiple-reﬂection loss term and as

mentioned in [7] is equal to

B

dB

= 20 log

10

1 −e

−2αl

e

−j2βl

. (9)

In the previous planar model implementation, the B term

had been neglected because it was assumed that most of the EM

ﬁeld attenuation was due to the absorption and reﬂection (screen

thickness is much greater than the skin depth). In fact, Fig. 3

shows good agreement between the planar (2-D) SE (4), and

the complete equation of SE (8). Therefore, it can be inferred

that the planar model represents a good approximation of the

general SE equation.

LOSITO et al.: WIDE-FREQUENCY MODEL OF METAL FOAM FOR SHIELDING APPLICATIONS 77

Fig. 4. New model obtained from double wire-mesh screen sheets.

Nevertheless, the SEvalues of the planar model greatly under-

estimate the SEof metal foam, as described in [8]. Therefore, we

have proposed a simple new model to approximate the shield-

ing behavior of a metal foam slab, considering the slab as a

shield with double wire-mesh layers, separated by an air space

(see Fig. 4). In this new model, l

1

and l

3

are the thickness of a

planar wire-mesh screen which correspond to the radius of the

mesh wires, while l

2

, the air space, is equal to the thickness of

metal foam slab. The radius of the planar wire-mesh screen, can

be obtained for a different kinds of metal foams by approxi-

mate formulas mentioned in [1], using the relative (or apparent)

density and the number of PPI of metal foam

ρ

ρ

s

∼

=

3r

2

w

a

2

s

(10)

PPI ×a

s

+ (PPI + 1) r

w

= 25.4. (11)

The SE of a “good conductor” is given by [5]

SE

single

∼

= 4

η

0

η

e

t

δ

. (12)

Considering a model with double shielding layers separated

by an air space, the thickness of each is equal to t/2. If we

disregard multiple reﬂections in this air space, the total SE is

given by [9]

SE

double

∼

=

¸

4

η

0

η

e

t

2 δ

2

=

¸

4

η

0

η

2

e

t

δ

. (13)

Thus, the “interface mismatched” contribution for a double

slab is the square of a single slab. Translating this result to a

metal foam slab, we have a new SE model, which was given

in [9]

SE = −40 log

10

2ωL

s

/Z

0

1 + (2ωL

s

/Z

0

)

2

. (14)

Therefore, the SE for a double layer shield can be written as

SE

double

= 2SE

single

. (15)

Fig. 5. SE (E-ﬁeld) of the theoretical model with and without the B

2

factor,

compared with experimental data of metal foamslab Type I described in Table I.

Remembering (5), if we consider the B factor for a double

wire-mesh layers shield it can be written as [6]

B

double

= B

1

+B

2

+B

3

(16)

where B

1

and B

3

represent the multiple reﬂections, which occur

in the two screens of thickness l

1

and l

3

, respectively, that are of

the same value because they are made with the same material.

As said before, for a screen thickness much greater than the skin

depth, B

1

and B

3

can be neglected.

Moreover, B

2

, the thickness of the air space between the two

screens cannot be neglected, therefore, considering (8) for a

double layers shield we can obtain, as shown in [6]

B

2

= 20 log

10

1 −

1 −4

η

Z

w

cos 4π

l

2

λ

0

−j sin 4π

l

2

λ

0

(17)

where l

2

is the air space thickness, η is the screen impedance

(equal to L

s

for our wire-mesh screen), and Z

w

= Z

0

is the

free-space characteristic impedance (377 Ω).

Considering the B

2

factor, our ﬁnal model becomes

SE = −40 log

10

(2ωL

s

/Z

0

)

1 + (2ωL

s

/Z

0

)

2

+B

2

. (18)

It is clear, as shown in (14) that B

2

is a periodic factor, which

allows to see in detail the frequency resonance of metal foam

slab that is not visible in the equation of SE (14), as we can note

in Fig. 5.

Increasing the number of PPI in our model, from (10) and

(11), we can note a reduction of a square wire-mesh dimen-

sion, and from (3) and (4), we can deduce, especially for high

frequency, a decrease in the SE value, as shown in Fig. 6.

The good results of this model for high frequency encourage

us to use this double wire-mesh screen as an approximate model

to predict the SE for low frequency magnetic shield. Naturally,

the EM shielding behavior of a metal foam at a low frequency

is different. In fact, in this case we can deﬁne the magnetic-ﬁeld

78 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY, VOL. 52, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 2010

Fig. 6. SE (E-ﬁeld) of the theoretical model with PPI = 10 (low PPI) and PPI

= 20 (high PPI).

Fig. 7. Parallel mesh shielding geometry.

shielding transfer function as [3]

T

m

(jω) =

magnetic ﬁeld in the shielded region

magnetic ﬁeld in the absence of shield

. (19)

Considering a plane wave, (19) can be written as [7]

T

m

(jω) =

1 +

jωµ

0

nZ

s

−1

(20)

where

n = 1 for the parallel-mesh geometry;

n = 2 for the cylindrical geometry;

n = 3 for the spherical geometry.

For our purpose, we can consider the parallel-mesh geometry,

as show in Fig. 7, because it can be compared with our model

(see Fig. 4).

It is clear that the quantity a/n is simply the volume-to-surface

ratio, therefore, (20) becomes

T

m

(jω) =

1 +

jωµ

0

V

e

Z

s

S

e

−1

(21)

where V

e

and S

e

indicate the volume and the surface area of the

enclosure.

Now assuming that the mesh wires are sufﬁciently thin

(Z

w

a

s

∼

= R

s

), T

m

(jω) can be written as

T

m

(jω)

∼

=

R

s

+jωL

s

R

s

+jωµ

0

V

e

/S

e

(22)

where R

s

= a

s

/πr

2

w

σ

w

. Deﬁning τ

s

= L

s

/R

s

(a time constant

characteristic of the mesh), and τ

e

= µ

0

V

e

/(S

e

R

s

) (a time con-

Fig. 8. EMC box implemented with CST software.

Fig. 9. Shielded EMC box implemented with CST software designed with

double wire-mesh geometry with a

s

= 3 mm, r

w

= 0.4 mm, and l

2

= 14 mm.

stant characteristic of the enclosure), with τ

e

τ

s

, we have

T

m

(jω) =

1 +jωτ

s

1 +jωτ

e

. (23)

To sum up the analytical model of a magnetic-ﬁeld SE enclo-

sure, SE

m

can be deﬁned as [3]

SE

m

= −20 log

10

|T

m

(jω)| . (24)

SE

m

is nearly zero at frequencies below ω = 1/τ

e

and prac-

tically uniform at frequencies above ω = 1/τ

s

.

Between these two frequencies, SE

m

increases at 20 dB per

decade. As described previously for a double wire-mesh screen,

we can write (15) so that our new model becomes

SE

m double

= −20 log

10

¸

1 + (ωτ

s

)

2

1 + (ωτ

e

)

2

(25)

where τ

e

is a double of a single shielding.

III. NUMERICAL SIMULATION

The ﬁrst step for the validation of our new model consisted

of the simulation of a double wire-mesh screen with CST MS.

An EMC box (40 cm × 30 cm × 35 cm) opened on one side

was simulated and excited with a coaxial cable (see Fig. 8).

The SE was calculated as the difference between E far-ﬁeld

without a double wire-mesh screen and E far-ﬁeld with a double

wire-mesh screen on the other side of the EMCbox implemented

used for the screen as the geometry shown in Fig. 2, with a

s

and r

w

obtained for different kinds of metal foams by (10) and

(11). The thickness of the air space l

2

is equal to the thickness

of metal foam slab tested (see Fig. 9).

The SE was evaluated at 30 cm from the end of the box

source and at 1 m from the source. These simulated values were

compared with our new model, obtaining good agreement, as

shown in Fig. 10.

LOSITO et al.: WIDE-FREQUENCY MODEL OF METAL FOAM FOR SHIELDING APPLICATIONS 79

Fig. 10. Simulated and estimated SE (E-ﬁeld) compared with experimental

data of metal foam slab Type I described in Table I.

The main difference among our model, full-wave CSTmodel,

and the experimental data (see Fig. 10) is essentially in the

approximation of the randomstructure of metal foam, especially

for wider dimensions of metal foams with higher porosity that

also requires more computational time for CST simulation.

Moreover, low-frequency simulations have not been made

with CST MS, because of the onerous computational cost of the

tiny dimension of the newmodel compared with the wavelength

of the frequency range simulations. However, there is no reason

why our model cannot be applied to lower frequencies below

800 MHz. This in conclusion leads to prefer our model to the

CST model.

Finally, the agreement between theoretical and simulated be-

havior of SE and the simplicity of our new model paved the way

to make a physical double wire-mesh screen model. This op-

portunity led to compare the SE measurements of this physical

double screen with the SE of the metal foam slabs.

IV. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS

In this section, we showthe results of the measurements made

on different kinds of metal foams that were compared with our

model and with its physical model. Fig. 11 shows the electric-

ﬁeld SE related to four open cell slabs 30 cm×30 cm of 1.4 cm

thickness, while varying some structural properties according

to data summarized in Table I [2]. More speciﬁcally, Type I–IV

data have been experimentally obtained and measurements per-

formed in the range 10 kHz–20 GHz.

As commonly accepted, three different frequency ranges

have been identiﬁed (namely “low frequency,” “resonance,”

and “high frequency”), and in each one appropriate sources

have been used. The aluminium foam slabs have been carefully

adapted to an aperture of a shielding room and measurements

performed according to IEEE Standard 299-1997.

It is clear from Fig. 11 that all the studied slabs show good

shielding capability in the whole frequency range and especially

for frequencies up to 2 GHz. As expected, a SE reduction has

Fig. 11. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for the aluminium foam slabs described

in Table I.

TABLE I

DUOCEL ALUMINIUM FOAMS TESTED

been found for higher frequencies, because of the effects of

the open cell nature of the considered aluminium foams. More-

over, some values of measured data were characterized of some

decibels of uncertainty.

To investigate the causes of uncertainly, we can consider

the unstable measure of the E ﬁeld inside the shielding room

due to the small dimension of metal foam slabs tested, and

the different properties of different kind of antennas used in

the experimental measurement. More closely, by comparing the

SE values of aluminium foam slabs of Type II with those of

Type IV (see Fig. 12), it is apparent that for metal foams with

the same apparent density, shielding capabilities increase if PPI

increases. Moreover, when comparing slabs with the same PPI

but different relative density (Type III and Type IV, respectively),

lower shielding performance is measured for lower density slabs

(see Fig. 13).

This is in agreement with that shown for mechanical

properties; i.e., increasing porosity for most properties, in-

cluding strength, stiffness, and conductivity increases then

exponentially.

The previous results were compared with our new model

results (see Fig. 14) using the same total thickness of metal

foam slab for our model.

We can see the agreement of the EM behavior of metal foams

with our model. Moreover, it is clear how this model can ac-

curately predict the worst SE results at the ﬁrst resonance of

the EMC box (just over 8 GHz). It is known that smaller boxes

resonate at higher frequency, therefore, making the box small

80 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY, VOL. 52, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 2010

Fig. 12. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for the aluminium foam slabs Type II and

Type IV described in Table I.

Fig. 13. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for the aluminium foam slabs Type III

and Type IV described in Table I.

Fig. 14. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for the aluminium slabs described in

Table I compared with the theoretical model.

Fig. 15. Physical implementation of our model.

Fig. 16. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for iron and brass double wire-mesh

screens compared with theoretical values of the our model and with metal foam

Type II.

enough to push the ﬁrst resonance above the upper limit of the

test frequency range. The physical realization of our model was

made by using a wooden support (30 × 30 × 1.4 cm), cov-

ered by a double wire-mesh grid with a

s

and r

w

of 3 mm and

0.4 mm, respectively [see Fig. 15(a)–(b)].

Two screens were created by covering the wooden support

ﬁrst with an iron double wire-mesh grid and second with a brass

double wire-mesh grid. The experimental measures of these

physical models were compared with metal foam Type II, and

our model, using the same geometrical parameter of the physical

double wire-mesh grid, showing good agreement as shown in

Fig. 16.

It is also clear from Fig. 16 that the EM performance of a

metal foamslab is comparable with a physical double wire-mesh

screen, so the prototypes of our model can be considered as per-

forming an analytical characterization of metal foams. Finally,

we compared the experimental magnetic SE of our prototypes

with the ﬁrst approach for a low-frequency model described in

(25), obtaining the results shown in Fig. 17.

We can see that our low-frequency model has the same trend

as the experimental SE

m

results of metal foam slab Type II,

but are not completely in agreement, because the analytical

model is the ﬁrst approximation of the low-frequency behavior

of metal foam. However, from Fig. 17 we can also see the good

LOSITO et al.: WIDE-FREQUENCY MODEL OF METAL FOAM FOR SHIELDING APPLICATIONS 81

Fig. 17. SE measurements (H-ﬁeld) for iron and brass double wire-mesh

screens compared with theoretical values of the low-frequency model and with

metal foams Type II.

agreement of the metal foam slab Type II, with iron and brass

double wire-mesh screens. This paves the way to improve the

analytical study of the model for low frequency.

V. CONCLUSION

We have considered a variety of relevant topics to understand

the problem of the EM characterization of metal foams for

their use in radio-frequency EM shields and for low-frequency

shields. We have discussed the experimental results about the

SE of some speciﬁc types of open cell aluminium foam slabs,

showing good shielding properties over a large frequency range.

Moreover, to describe the analytical behavior of metal foams, we

have presented a new double wire-mesh screen model, obtained

as a development of the model proposed by Casey and discussed

in [4]. The proposed model was validated by numerical simula-

tions that is obtained by using CST MS. The possibility to easily

obtain a physical model of the analytical one, led us to make

a prototype of a double wire-mesh screen by using a wooden

support covered by two kinds of metallic grid, i.e., iron and

brass. The theoretical data of our model compared with experi-

mental results show strong agreement between metal foams and

double wire-mesh screens. The same agreement was seen be-

tween experimental and theoretical results for metal foams and

prototypes of our model, so that these prototypes can be con-

sidered as performing an analytical characterization of metal

foams. Finally, the good agreement of our model theoretical

data, compared with experimental results for SE at low frequen-

cies, encourages the optimization of this model, requiring an

analytical improvement.

REFERENCES

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value EM shielding by using metal-foams: Experimental and numerical

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[3] K. F. Casey, “Electromagnetic shielding behavior of wire-mesh screens,”

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[5] C. R. Paul, Introduction to Electromagnetic Compatibility, 2nd ed. New

York: Wiley, 2006, ch. 10.

[6] R. B. Schultz, V. C. Plantz, and D. R. Brush, “Shielding theory and

practice,” IEEE Trans. Electromagn. Compat., vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 187–

201, Aug. 1988.

[7] K. S. H. Lee, Ed. “EMP interation: Principles, techniques, and reference

data,” Air Force Weapons Lab. Tech. Rep. TR-79–403, pp. 555–556, Dec.

1979.

[8] O. Losito, “An analytical characterization of metal foams for shielding

applications,” presented at the PIERS 2008, Hyatt Regency, Cambridge,

MA, 2–6, Jul.

[9] O. Losito, M. Bozzetti, V. Dimiccoli, and D. Barletta, “An analytical 3D

model of metal foams for EM shielding applications,” presented at the

EMC Eur. 2008, Hamburg, Germany, 8–12, Sep.

Onofrio Losito (M’08) was born in Molfetta, Bari,

Italy. He received the M.Sc. degree in electronic en-

gineering from the Politecnico di Bari, Bari, in 2002,

and the Ph.D. degree in information engineering from

the Universit` a del Salento, Leece, Italy, in September

2007.

Since 1999, he has been engaged in the tech-

niques of installation for systems of telecommunica-

tions and measures of electromagnetic (EM) ﬁelds

with the high schools as an outside expert. In 2007,

he joined ITEL Telecommunication S. r. l., Ruvo di

Puglia, Bari, as a Researcher in the ITEL Laboratory of Electromagnetic Com-

patibility. He is currently with the Electromagnetics Fields Group, Department

of Electrotechnics and Electronic, Politecnico di Bari. His research interests

include the analysis and design of 1-D and periodic leaky wave antennas, mi-

crowave ﬁlters, and EM shieldings, for radio frequency.

Domenico Barletta was born in Canosa di Puglia,

Bari, Italy, on January 7, 1971. He received the M.Sc.

degree in electronic engineering from the Politecnico

di Torino, Torino, Italy, in 1998.

In 1999, he joined ITEL Telecomunicazioni S. r.

l., Ruvo di Puglia, Bari, as a Research Engineer in the

ITEL Laboratory of Electromagnetic Compatibility,

where he became Manager of Prevention and Protec-

tion, in 2006 and Quality Assurance/Environmental

Health and Safety Manager in 2008. He has been co-

ordinating projects and operative activity in 30 coun-

tries in the area of shielding for magnetic resonance and tests of electromagnetic

compatibility and electrical safety.

Vincenzo Dimiccoli was born in Barletta, Italy, on

April 7, 1972. He received the M.Sc. degree in elec-

tronic engineering from the Politecnico di Bari, Bari,

Italy, in 1999.

In 1999, he joined ITEL Telecomunicazioni S. r.

l., Ruvo di Puglia, Bari, a company set up in 1982

with diversiﬁed activities in various sectors related to

electromagnetic (EM) impact, shielding for magnetic

resonance for civil and military purposes, and tests of

EM compatibility and electrical safety, as a Project

Engineer and became Engineering Division Manager

in 2006. He has been coordinating research projects with several Italian univer-

sities and industrial districts, increasing its scientiﬁc publications.

and ∇s denotes the surface del operator.686αl (6) where l is the thickness of the screen. 2. NO. Fig. an accurate analysis with numerical models is computationally onerous. (7) The equivalent sheet impedance for a screen with square meshes of dimension as × as is jωLs Zs = (Zw as + jωLs )(I − nn) + ∇s × ∇s 2K0 εr (2) Moreover. it can be inferred that the planar model represents a good approximation of the general SE equation. Fig. in order to evaluate the effectiveness of a planar mesh screen. and the complete equation of SE (8). WIRE-MESH SCREEN MODEL The analysis of complex foam structures is not possible with simple numerical models and algorithms. 3 shows good agreement between the planar (2-D) SE (4). Therefore. This laminated shield can be described electromagnetically by an equivalent sheet impedance operator Zs . (9) (3) where rw is the radius of the mesh wires. α is equal to α= 2π λc 1− f fc 2 . If we consider a plane wave. which describes their EM behavior in a simple way. 2. it is necessary to evaluate the transmission coefﬁcient. n is a unit vector normal to the surface occupied by the mesh. 1. R is the reﬂection loss term. B represents the multiple-reﬂection loss term and as mentioned in [7] is equal to BdB = 20 log10 1 − e−2α l e−j 2β l . (5) We know that A is the absorption loss of the wave for a screen thickness much greater than a skin depth. Consider the equation for SE [6] SEdB = AdB + RdB + BdB . Moreover. we have [3] SE = −20 log10 (2ωLs /Z0 ) 1 + (2ωLs /Z0 )2 (4) where Z0 is the free-space characteristic impedance. Finally. using the same dimensions of the ligaments and pore of a thin metal foam slab. 52. A possible solution to improve the time of the computational analysis of foams is the development of an analytical model. K0 is the free-space wavenumber. when the mesh dimensions are small compared to wavelength [3]. VOL. which becomes AdB = 8. Complete SE equation compared with the planar (2-D) model. the B term had been neglected because it was assumed that most of the EM ﬁeld attenuation was due to the absorption and reﬂection (screen thickness is much greater than the skin depth). The ﬁrst step to develop the new model of metal foams for our purposes is to modify a planar wire-mesh screen with bounded junction as mentioned in [4]. 3.76 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY. and Ls the sheet inductance parameter is Ls = µ0 as ln 1 − e−2π r w /a s 2π −1 where K = Ls /Z0 for a wire-mesh screen. FEBRUARY 2010 Fig. The operator Zs relates the tangential electric ﬁeld Es to the surface current density on the screen as Es = Zs × Js . In the previous planar model implementation. II. (1) In the case where the mesh wires are perfectly conducting. In fact. Geometry of an individual square wire-mesh. For a wire-mesh screen. and according to [6] it is equal to RdB = 20 log10 (1 + K)2 4K (8) where Zw is the internal impedance per unit length of the mesh wire. The screen geometry is shown in Fig. I is the idem factor or identity dyadic. The wire junctions are assumed to be bonded. .

6. which allows to see in detail the frequency resonance of metal foam slab that is not visible in the equation of SE (14). the SE for a double layer shield can be written as SEdouble = 2SEsingle . 4). (14) Therefore. is equal to the thickness of metal foam slab. can be obtained for a different kinds of metal foams by approximate formulas mentioned in [1]. therefore.LOSITO et al. especially for high frequency. SE (E-ﬁeld) of the theoretical model with and without the B2 factor. As said before. as shown in [6] l2 l2 − j sin 4π λ0 λ0 (17) where l2 is the air space thickness. Fig. Moreover. if we consider the B factor for a double wire-mesh layers shield it can be written as [6] Bdouble = B1 + B2 + B3 (16) (10) (11) where B1 and B3 represent the multiple reﬂections. η is the screen impedance (equal to Ls for our wire-mesh screen). B1 and B3 can be neglected. Naturally. In this new model. B2 . considering the slab as a shield with double wire-mesh layers. Considering the B2 factor. the thickness of each is equal to t/2. respectively. and from (3) and (4). the thickness of the air space between the two screens cannot be neglected. which occur in the two screens of thickness l1 and l3 . If we disregard multiple reﬂections in this air space. l1 and l3 are the thickness of a planar wire-mesh screen which correspond to the radius of the mesh wires. we have a new SE model. the SE values of the planar model greatly underestimate the SE of metal foam. Translating this result to a metal foam slab. for a screen thickness much greater than the skin depth. in this case we can deﬁne the magnetic-ﬁeld . our ﬁnal model becomes B2 = 20 log10 1 − 1 − 4 cos 4π SE = −40 log10 (2ωLs /Z0 ) 1 + (2ωLs /Z0 )2 + B2 .: WIDE-FREQUENCY MODEL OF METAL FOAM FOR SHIELDING APPLICATIONS 77 Fig. 5. we can deduce. we have proposed a simple new model to approximate the shielding behavior of a metal foam slab. The SE of a “good conductor” is given by [5] η0 t SEsingle ∼ 4 e δ . as shown in Fig. = η (12) Considering a model with double shielding layers separated by an air space. In fact. Increasing the number of PPI in our model. and Zw = Z0 is the free-space characteristic impedance (377 Ω). Therefore. (18) η Zw PPI × as + (PPI + 1) rw = 25. as shown in (14) that B2 is a periodic factor.4. The radius of the planar wire-mesh screen. compared with experimental data of metal foam slab Type I described in Table I. we can note a reduction of a square wire-mesh dimension. using the relative (or apparent) density and the number of PPI of metal foam 2 ρ ∼ 3rw = 2 ρs as Remembering (5). while l2 . separated by an air space (see Fig. 4. 5. t δ (13) Thus. The good results of this model for high frequency encourage us to use this double wire-mesh screen as an approximate model to predict the SE for low frequency magnetic shield. as described in [8]. that are of the same value because they are made with the same material. a decrease in the SE value. as we can note in Fig. from (10) and (11). which was given in [9] SE = −40 log10 2ωLs /Z0 1 + (2ωLs /Z0 )2 . New model obtained from double wire-mesh screen sheets. the total SE is given by [9] SEdouble ∼ 4 η0 e 2tδ = η 2 η0 = 4 η 2 e . the air space. the EM shielding behavior of a metal foam at a low frequency is different. Nevertheless. (15) It is clear. the “interface mismatched” contribution for a double slab is the square of a single slab. considering (8) for a double layers shield we can obtain.

These simulated values were compared with our new model. 2. (20) becomes Tm (jω) = 1+ jωµ0 Ve Zs Se −1 −1 1 + jωτs 1 + jωτe . 7.4 mm. EMC box implemented with CST software. as show in Fig. Now assuming that the mesh wires are sufﬁciently thin (Zw as ∼ Rs ). rw = 0. we can consider the parallel-mesh geometry. 9. n = 3 for the spherical geometry. n = 2 for the cylindrical geometry. obtaining good agreement. (19) can be written as [7] Tm (jω) = where n = 1 for the parallel-mesh geometry. Deﬁning τs = Ls /Rs (a time constant characteristic of the mesh). (21) where Ve and Se indicate the volume and the surface area of the enclosure. (19) To sum up the analytical model of a magnetic-ﬁeld SE enclosure. An EMC box (40 cm × 30 cm × 35 cm) opened on one side was simulated and excited with a coaxial cable (see Fig. as shown in Fig. Between these two frequencies. The thickness of the air space l2 is equal to the thickness of metal foam slab tested (see Fig. As described previously for a double wire-mesh screen. τs . we can write (15) so that our new model becomes SEm double = −20 log10 1 + (ωτs )2 1 + (ωτe )2 (25) where τe is a double of a single shielding. Fig. The SE was evaluated at 30 cm from the end of the box source and at 1 m from the source. 6. FEBRUARY 2010 Fig. with as and rw obtained for different kinds of metal foams by (10) and (11). Parallel mesh shielding geometry. 8). VOL. 1. The SE was calculated as the difference between E far-ﬁeld without a double wire-mesh screen and E far-ﬁeld with a double wire-mesh screen on the other side of the EMC box implemented used for the screen as the geometry shown in Fig. 52. NO. therefore. 8. III. NUMERICAL SIMULATION The ﬁrst step for the validation of our new model consisted of the simulation of a double wire-mesh screen with CST MS.78 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY. 4). magnetic ﬁeld in the absence of shield Considering a plane wave. Fig. Tm (jω) can be written as = Tm (jω) ∼ = Rs + jωLs Rs + jωµ0 Ve /Se (22) 2 where Rs = as /πrw σw . For our purpose. and τe = µ0 Ve /(Se Rs ) (a time con- . (24) jωµ0 1+ nZs (20) SEm is nearly zero at frequencies below ω = 1/τe and practically uniform at frequencies above ω = 1/τs . with τe Fig. SEm increases at 20 dB per decade. stant characteristic of the enclosure). SE (E-ﬁeld) of the theoretical model with PPI = 10 (low PPI) and PPI = 20 (high PPI). It is clear that the quantity a/n is simply the volume-to-surface ratio. Shielded EMC box implemented with CST software designed with double wire-mesh geometry with as = 3 mm. and l2 = 14 mm. 7. SEm can be deﬁned as [3] SEm = −20 log10 |Tm (jω)| . 10. 9). because it can be compared with our model (see Fig. we have (23) Tm (jω) = shielding transfer function as [3] magnetic ﬁeld in the shielded region Tm (jω) = .

13). especially for wider dimensions of metal foams with higher porosity that also requires more computational time for CST simulation. TABLE I DUOCEL ALUMINIUM FOAMS TESTED The main difference among our model.. More speciﬁcally. 10) is essentially in the approximation of the random structure of metal foam.4 cm thickness. Fig. It is clear from Fig. including strength. Finally. We can see the agreement of the EM behavior of metal foams with our model. we show the results of the measurements made on different kinds of metal foams that were compared with our model and with its physical model. As commonly accepted. Simulated and estimated SE (E-ﬁeld) compared with experimental data of metal foam slab Type I described in Table I. However. respectively). it is clear how this model can accurately predict the worst SE results at the ﬁrst resonance of the EMC box (just over 8 GHz). because of the effects of the open cell nature of the considered aluminium foams. The previous results were compared with our new model results (see Fig. Moreover. This is in agreement with that shown for mechanical properties. we can consider the unstable measure of the E ﬁeld inside the shielding room due to the small dimension of metal foam slabs tested. To investigate the causes of uncertainly. some values of measured data were characterized of some decibels of uncertainty. lower shielding performance is measured for lower density slabs (see Fig. 11. 11 that all the studied slabs show good shielding capability in the whole frequency range and especially for frequencies up to 2 GHz. This in conclusion leads to prefer our model to the CST model. It is known that smaller boxes resonate at higher frequency. and the different properties of different kind of antennas used in the experimental measurement. full-wave CST model. More closely. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS In this section. while varying some structural properties according to data summarized in Table I [2].e. Moreover. i. Type I–IV data have been experimentally obtained and measurements performed in the range 10 kHz–20 GHz. and conductivity increases then exponentially. IV. it is apparent that for metal foams with the same apparent density. 12). 14) using the same total thickness of metal foam slab for our model. three different frequency ranges have been identiﬁed (namely “low frequency. 11 shows the electricﬁeld SE related to four open cell slabs 30 cm × 30 cm of 1. shielding capabilities increase if PPI increases. Moreover.LOSITO et al. The aluminium foam slabs have been carefully adapted to an aperture of a shielding room and measurements performed according to IEEE Standard 299-1997. and the experimental data (see Fig. Moreover. As expected.” “resonance. the agreement between theoretical and simulated behavior of SE and the simplicity of our new model paved the way to make a physical double wire-mesh screen model. 10. making the box small . stiffness. and in each one appropriate sources have been used. there is no reason why our model cannot be applied to lower frequencies below 800 MHz. a SE reduction has been found for higher frequencies. This opportunity led to compare the SE measurements of this physical double screen with the SE of the metal foam slabs. when comparing slabs with the same PPI but different relative density (Type III and Type IV.: WIDE-FREQUENCY MODEL OF METAL FOAM FOR SHIELDING APPLICATIONS 79 Fig. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for the aluminium foam slabs described in Table I.” and “high frequency”). increasing porosity for most properties. by comparing the SE values of aluminium foam slabs of Type II with those of Type IV (see Fig. therefore. because of the onerous computational cost of the tiny dimension of the new model compared with the wavelength of the frequency range simulations. Fig. low-frequency simulations have not been made with CST MS.

14. using the same geometrical parameter of the physical double wire-mesh grid. Fig. Physical implementation of our model. 1. we compared the experimental magnetic SE of our prototypes with the ﬁrst approach for a low-frequency model described in (25). 16. respectively [see Fig. Fig. 16 that the EM performance of a metal foam slab is comparable with a physical double wire-mesh screen. 16. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for the aluminium foam slabs Type III and Type IV described in Table I. 52.4 mm. and our model.80 IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTROMAGNETIC COMPATIBILITY. 15(a)–(b)]. However. 13. enough to push the ﬁrst resonance above the upper limit of the test frequency range. FEBRUARY 2010 Fig. NO. It is also clear from Fig. because the analytical model is the ﬁrst approximation of the low-frequency behavior of metal foam. VOL. 17 we can also see the good .4 cm). 15. The physical realization of our model was made by using a wooden support (30 × 30 × 1. Fig. We can see that our low-frequency model has the same trend as the experimental SEm results of metal foam slab Type II. from Fig. Fig. obtaining the results shown in Fig. but are not completely in agreement. The experimental measures of these physical models were compared with metal foam Type II. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for iron and brass double wire-mesh screens compared with theoretical values of the our model and with metal foam Type II. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for the aluminium foam slabs Type II and Type IV described in Table I. showing good agreement as shown in Fig. 17. so the prototypes of our model can be considered as performing an analytical characterization of metal foams. covered by a double wire-mesh grid with as and rw of 3 mm and 0. Two screens were created by covering the wooden support ﬁrst with an iron double wire-mesh grid and second with a brass double wire-mesh grid. Finally. 12. SE measurements (E-ﬁeld) for the aluminium slabs described in Table I compared with the theoretical model.

Ruvo di Puglia.. . degree in electronic engineering from the Politecnico di Bari. Tarricone. Torino. Gibson. Bozzetti. Italy. Leece. Tarricone.” in Proc. W. Electromagn. In 1999.K. pp. “An analytical 3D model of metal foams for EM shielding applications. “Shielding theory and practice.Sc. and H. 10. MA. techniques. “High addedvalue EM shielding by using metal-foams: Experimental and numerical characterization. He is currently with the Electromagnetics Fields Group. Domenico Barletta was born in Canosa di Puglia. he joined ITEL Telecomunicazioni S. vol. N.. The theoretical data of our model compared with experimental results show strong agreement between metal foams and double wire-mesh screens. Pagliara. he joined ITEL Telecommunication S.: Butterworth-Heinemann. “EMP interation: Principles. 1972. he joined ITEL Telecomunicazioni S. J. Aug. Electromagn. degree in information engineering from the Universit` del Salento. Barletta. a company set up in 1982 with diversiﬁed activities in various sectors related to electromagnetic (EM) impact. Losito. A. showing good shielding properties over a large frequency range. The possibility to easily obtain a physical model of the analytical one. O. 30. Symp. Compat. in 2006 and Quality Assurance/Environmental Health and Safety Manager in 2008.. Lee. 2000. 1988. Bari. Schultz. so that these prototypes can be considered as performing an analytical characterization of metal foams. Losito. REFERENCES [1] M. Italy. Symp. Bari. 1971. Ruvo di Puglia. Mediterr. (MMS’2006). Italy. to describe the analytical behavior of metal foams. the good agreement of our model theoretical data. and the Ph. r. Genova. [3] K. Losito. Dec. Paul. Ed. Jul. 8–12.. New York: Wiley. [7] K. r. 1979. N. ch.Sc. and L. l. Aug. Aug. Catarinucci. F. V.” presented at the EMC Eur. for radio frequency. Bari. Onofrio Losito (M’08) was born in Molfetta. Italy. Hutchinson. no. Bari. Sep. 2008. r. on April 7. F. L. and D. he has been engaged in the techniques of installation for systems of telecommunications and measures of electromagnetic (EM) ﬁelds with the high schools as an outside expert. encourages the optimization of this model. Introduction to Electromagnetic Compatibility. led us to make a prototype of a double wire-mesh screen by using a wooden support covered by two kinds of metallic grid. in September a 2007. C. Compat. as a Project Engineer and became Engineering Division Manager in 2006. Wadley. Casey. agreement of the metal foam slab Type II. “An analytical characterization of metal foams for shielding applications. We have discussed the experimental results about the SE of some speciﬁc types of open cell aluminium foam slabs. 2. on January 7. degree in electronic engineering from the Politecnico di Bari. 285–289. He has been coordinating research projects with several Italian universities and industrial districts. London.: WIDE-FREQUENCY MODEL OF METAL FOAM FOR SHIELDING APPLICATIONS 81 Fig. Italy. Cambridge. J.D. [2] L. Department of Electrotechnics and Electronic. In 2007. Losito. obtained as a development of the model proposed by Casey and discussed in [4]. SE measurements (H-ﬁeld) for iron and brass double wire-mesh screens compared with theoretical values of the low-frequency model and with metal foams Type II. and F. (EMC 2006).” IEEE Trans. Tech. “On the use of metal foams in EM shielding applications. l. Bari. where he became Manager of Prevention and Protection. He received the M. pp. L. [5] C. compared with experimental results for SE at low frequencies. Since 1999.” Air Force Weapons Lab. shielding for magnetic resonance for civil and military purposes. V. A. The proposed model was validated by numerical simulations that is obtained by using CST MS. and tests of EM compatibility and electrical safety. IEEE Int. He received the M. O. and D.Sc. Evans. no. in 2002. 17. in 1999. in 1998.LOSITO et al. 187– 201. 240–245. degree in electronic engineering from the Politecnico di Torino. G. Vincenzo Dimiccoli was born in Barletta. pp. and EM shieldings. G. “Electromagnetic shielding behavior of wire-mesh screens. 298–306. CONCLUSION We have considered a variety of relevant topics to understand the problem of the EM characterization of metal foams for their use in radio-frequency EM shields and for low-frequency shields. microwave ﬁlters. Compat. V. [9] O. 2–6. H. pp. He has been coordinating projects and operative activity in 30 countries in the area of shielding for magnetic resonance and tests of electromagnetic compatibility and electrical safety. This paves the way to improve the analytical study of the model for low frequency. Electromagn. Brush. 555–556.e.. Germany.. B. Metal Foams: A Design Guide. He received the M. as a Research Engineer in the ITEL Laboratory of Electromagnetic Compatibility. Fleck. 3. Ruvo di Puglia. [4] L. 2006. pp. The same agreement was seen between experimental and theoretical results for metal foams and prototypes of our model. Finally. Microw.. we have presented a new double wire-mesh screen model. Dimiccoli.” presented at the PIERS 2008. Politecnico di Bari. Plantz. increasing its scientiﬁc publications.” IEEE Trans. Catarinucci. Italy. 30. Hamburg. requiring an analytical improvement.. [6] R. 1988. i. M. S. R. Hyatt Regency. 2nd ed. with iron and brass double wire-mesh screens. Moreover. [8] O. Rep. Bari. Ashby. vol. and reference data.” in Proc. His research interests include the analysis and design of 1-D and periodic leaky wave antennas. R. TR-79–403. l. vol. U. as a Researcher in the ITEL Laboratory of Electromagnetic Compatibility. Bari. In 1999. Sep. 3. iron and brass. Italy.

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