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Large or small, every part you use for antenna boxes and antenna systems must be optimized – not just for today, and not just for signal strength and clarity. Effective thermal management is crucial for keeping base station assemblies functioning at top performance long-term. Covers must resist damage from weathering. Even part weight and aesthetics are now extremely important considerations.
There are also plenty of challenges in the base station assembly manufacturing processes themselves. As demand grows for 5G in telecommunications, material costs and production efficiency must be closely monitored and constantly maintained. Learn how 3M is helping you drive the growth of 5G with solutions for all of these challenges.
Successful 5G means more than just a strong, clear signal. Discover how 3M can help with base station exteriors that allow for controlled Dk, low Df and improved heat dissipation long term – and look great doing it.
Materials for housing
For 5G performance your customers can count on, even the most robust printed circuit boards and antenna arrays require a reliable lightweight cover. Our 3M™ Glass Bubbles for 5G are tiny hollow microspheres precisely engineered for strength and signal clarity. They can blend with heavier and more costly resins used for thermoplastic and thermoset materials. So you can produce radome and antenna box covers that are lighter weight – and allow for the fastest, strongest signal transmission.
What’s more, our 3M™ Boron Nitride Cooling Fillers (BNCF) can help your materials dissipate heat. So you can start thinking differently about the antenna box. Today, 3M™ BNCF can mean polymers for lighter-weight heat sinks that also help reduce signal loss from inside the box. In the future, there may not be a heat sink – your antenna box does everything the heat sink does without the need for an extra component.
Paints, coatings, and aesthetics
Glass Bubbles for 5G also contain far fewer imperfections than those for standard industrial use. They are ideal for a range of lightweight paint and other coatings. So base station assemblies can blend into décor from historical to modern, stand up to outdoor weathering and still enable a strong 5G signal.
To maximize what’s in the box – electrical connectors, antenna arrays, printed circuit boards and more – 3M consistently thinks outside of it. Explore our solutions that drive 5G performance.
3M provides solutions for areas to ensure strong signal performance throughout the antenna system. Our low-loss fluoropolymers are excellent base materials for high-performance electrical connectors in 5G base station assemblies. 3M offers elastomers, fluoroplastics, additives and polymers such as polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) designed for resistance to heat, pressure, weathering and more in fluorinated and non fluorinated applications. Added to lightweight materials for the efficient, effective manufacture of plastic and composite 5G connectors, our latest 3M™ Glass Bubbles deliver low Df and allow for excellent control to attain a specific dielectric constant.
Heat is one thing you can always count on inside 5G antenna boxes – especially as demand increases for larger base stations with more electronic assemblies. Polymers for interior antenna system components must be versatile, able to deliver electrical insulation and allow for control over heat dissipation and absorption. 3M™ Boron Nitride Cooling Fillers can help. These additives for thermoplastics, elastomers, adhesives and thermoset resins increase thermal conductivity of finished parts. The result: heat is more easily directed and dissipated, without affecting electrical insulation performance. With less need for separate materials or parts, you can potentially design 5G antenna system components that are simpler and lighter.
The ability to manage heat, control coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) and customize designs to specific dielectric constants is critical inside antenna boxes, especially in systems with large antenna arrays. Learn more about our solutions for copper clad laminates.