MATERIALS: Thermoplastic Compounds Rival Ceramics, PCBs in Base Station Antenna Parts

SABIC's new suite of compounds offer different combinations of dielectric constant (Df) and dielectric dissipation factor (Df) performance.

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A new suite of Thermocomp compounds developed to help manufacturers of base station antennas—in particular, internal components such as phase shifters, have been developed by SABIC Innovative Plastics, Pittsfield, Mass. These compounds have been engineered to meet specific performance requirements in ways that are reportedly superior to two incumbent materials—ceramics and PCBs (printed circuit boards).

The new compounds include: ZX06323, ZX08309 and ZX08005, all based on Noryl PPO; DX09309, based on Lexan PC; and, FX10009, based on HDPE. They have been optimized for transmission conditions from 900 MHk to 3GHz and beyond, and at different temperature ranges, providing different combinations of dielectric constant (Dk) and dielectric dissipation factor (Df) performance.

            Says Alan Tsai, director of consumer electronics technology & innovations, “Because they are thermoplastic materials, they can provide greater design flexibility and higher manufacturing yield than the traditional materials, in addition to meeting specific signal strength or signal range objectives.” In general, when compared to ceramics and PCBs, the Thermocomp compounds can provide a better balance of dielectric properties, with extremely low Df, down to 0.001, and a wider range of Dk from 3 to 13.9, depending on frequency requirements. By comparison, general-purpose PCBs are capable of Df to 0.005.  

 

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