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(also screening), in electrical engineering and radio engineering, a means of reducing—that is, of suppressing or substantially attenuating—the effect of external stray fields, noise, or pickup. Such phenomena interfere with the operation of, for example, electrical or radio equipment, data transmission equipment, and data-processing equipment.
Shielding is accomplished by means of a grounded metal or metal-plated shield with a high electrical or magnetic conductivity. Either the stray-field or noise source or the equipment or component to be shielded is enclosed in the shield. Depending on the extent of shielding required, either solid shields or screens are used. Solid shields are usually made of sheet steel; screens are woven from copper or steel wire.
In many cases, the metal housing of a device acts as a shield. Complicated or bulky equipment is often installed in a room or chamber that is shielded.