5G mmWave Shrouds & High-Frequency Antennas
SHEERGARD® 5G mmWave shrouds provide complete environmental protection with the lowest possible transmission loss across frequencies up to 100GHz. Our structural fabrics are band agnostic and have been qualified by decades of use in the most extreme environments around the world to provide best-in-class performance at all times for systems at all frequencies. With a carefully designed Kevlar® weave and fluoropolymer surface, SHEERGARD® solutions are permanently hydrophobic actively preventing water accumulation, and dissipating heat quickly due to their low thermal conductivity, easing the strain of complex cooling systems.
SHEERGARD® materials are fabricated into completed 5G radome systems ideal for single or multi-tenant sites looking to optimize for RF performance. Materials with a proven history of providing protection under extreme conditions are intelligently combined with urban design and improved thermal management to meet any 5G requirement. Saint-Gobain works with trusted partners throughout the industry to supply the market with a fully integrated solution.
The TruField™ system was co-developed with RF Industries to provide the US market with best-in-class RF performance, qualified structural integrity, ease of access for installation and maintenance, and complete integration with most radio and cooling systems. Thanks to their modular design, they can be easily customized for unique applications; and their thin fabric construction means they are genuinely band-agnostic. When you upgrade the underlying radios or change to a new network provider - these fabrics are equally transparent to all frequencies and so instead of changing the entire radome, you plug and play.
TruField™ Modular Designs
The TruField™ shroud developed by RF Industries offers a modular design to answer the 5G infrastructure requirements. It is designed to service wireless carriers and neutral host providers with a variety of preconfigured options, as well as customizable solutions if required.
The shroud is lightweight, can be installed with a variety of mounting options including pole tops, and unzips for full 360° access for maintenance or upgrades – and does so using only basic hand tools. Each shroud comes standard in Grey, Black, Brown, Green, or Beige (with other colors available upon request), an RF Industries proprietary continuous airflow system, and a modular design easily adaptable to future configurations.
Band Agnostic RF Performance
Band agnostic simply means that the radome does not need tuning for the frequency of the incident signal. Fabric solutions, like the ones within TruField™, are band agnostic and mechanically strong enough to provide the required structural integrity at an extremely low thickness (typically around 0.2mm [0.008”]). By keeping this minimal thickness in front of the array, the fabric’s thickness remains small enough compared to the signal’s wavelength to not induce excess loss or scattering, and so does not require tuning. See our “Radome Solution for 5G mmWave” White Paper or our “Answering High-Frequency Radome Needs with Fluoropolymer Fabrics” Technical Feature in Microwave Journal for more information about this.
What is Hydrophobicity?
Hydrophobicity is a property defined by the contact angle a water droplet makes with a horizontal surface; with dynamic qualification being a more representative way to answer, ‘how quickly will water shed off my 5G shroud?’. Preventing water accumulation, as well as water sheeting across the surface, is key to maximizing 5G coverage. Surface water significantly degrades RF signal strength, and so minimizing its effect through proper material selection is key.
Typical legacy radomes use commodity plastics to minimize costs, adding hydrophobicity later through spray coatings or other treatments. Although good on Day 1, these treatments quickly deteriorate under UV exposure leaving them worse than their underlying substrate within just a few months. In comparison, SHEERGARD® fluoropolymer materials have consistently demonstrated permanent hydrophobicity through decades of field use.
Thermal Dissipation & Heat Management
The high frequency of 5G networks generates more heat than previous systems and so requires improved thermal management solutions. Excess heat hinders overall performance through added noise temperature effects and intensifies any CTE mismatches between dielectric layers and copper traces leading to cracks, delamination, and potential failure of the PCB.
A well-designed radome minimizes thickness and maximizes thermal conductivity to reduce these risks. Structural fabrics are 3-5X thinner than all other radome solutions and have 10-15X higher thermal conductivity while providing the same structural performance. By dissipating heat faster than other technologies, fabric shrouds can ease the burden of complex cooling systems.
5G Radomes & Shrouds
|Material||Thickness||Dieliectric Constant (DK)||Dissipation Factor (DF)||Transmission Loss at 10GHz||Transmission Loss at 40GHz||Tensile Strength (W)|
|Product||Partner/Region||RF Performance at 60° Incidence||Carriers & Tenants||Access||Dimensions|
|TruField™||RF Industries/ North America||>0.2 dB up to 40GHz||Multi Use||Unzips for 360° access||60”-90”H 18”-24”D|
*Nominal values. These values should not be used to design.
Saint-Gobain Composite Solutions is a long-trusted partner for creating highly specialized, technology-driven material solutions that deliver extraordinary performance in many radome markets. Through collaboration with RF Industries, we are proud to have co-developed a truly novel and industry-enabling shroud solution that will help bring 5G mmWave connectivity into everyday life in the United States. Through the manufacturing of versatile materials, flexible design configuration, and real application testing Saint-Gobain Composite Solutions ensures that the best possible solution is found for the specific application or region. If you are interested in co-development opportunities, please contact us today.
Rigorous testing standards
Saint-Gobain Composite Solutions rigorously tests all SHEERGARD® radome products via software-modeled analytics, lab-scale material characterization, and most importantly, directly relevant application testing. Every SHEERGARD® radome complies with strict MIL.STD.810 testing – the military-leading standard for all environmental conditions including temperature, humidity, salt, fungus, and many more. Software modeling such as Finite Element Analysis and Thermal Analysis can yield information on deflections, factors of safety, and thermal management requirements. Application tests such as physical hail storm testing, destructive fabric testing, and real-life application exposure reveal key learnings in creating a truly optimized product. Our testing begins during the co-development process to develop relevant tests and gather data that allows us to create market-ready solutions quickly.