Since it was first discovered and developed, the microwave industry has become popular not only for commercial use but also for personal use. Microwaves refer to the electromagnetic waves with frequencies between 300 MHz and 300 GHz. Microwaves have a variety of applications in heating appliances, communications technology, medical industry, remote detecting, aerospace products, astronomy, military products, and a lot more.
Due to the global use of microwave technology, microwave manufacturing is considered a huge industry. However, whether these manufacturers are creating global positioning systems, designing wireless connectivity devices, or constructing microwave ovens, they usually depend on a particular set of components that are typically found in most microwave assemblies. Usually, these electronic components can affect a number of variables including the frequency and bandwidth rate. These things are essential in the proper application and development of microwave products.
Simply put, these devices are used in steering and controlling the movement of electromagnetic waves. Usually, these are metal-based transmission lines used for microwave frequencies to help in linking the antennas and receivers. Generally, waveguides are comprised of electrically conductive materials like silver plating or copper. But sometimes it can also consist of dielectric insulators in case the interior walls are secured with conductors.
Although there are substitutes for waveguide systems that are less expensive, such as coaxial cables and microstrips, they have lesser transmission capacity and are less efficient in managing power. Normally, waveguides consist of an attenuator that controls the signal strength, a circulator that supports the one-way channel for the signal, an amplifier that can counteract transmission loss, as well as several secondary components.
The following are some of the numerous manufacturing processes that are used in creating waveguides:
In this process, a solid metal shape is constructed by moving particles onto a substrate surface by using an electrolytic bath. After the substrate form has been removed, an entire waveguide frame is created.
Electronic Discharge Machining (EDM)
This technique uses high-voltage electrical charges in melting away the stock from a metal workpiece so as the achieve the required waveguide structure. With a wire EDM, slim linear cuts are created, which are ideal for highly complicated designs. The result will be a very accurate waveguide specification. On the other hand, plunging EDM uses charged carbon particles, making it more precise compare to the wire method, however, this is also more costly.
This technique is usually used for creating aluminum waveguides. It uses a molten bonding layer which is placed on numerous metal pieces and combines them together forming a solid component.
This is a less expensive technique, however, there are chances that warping might happen most especially during the hardening stage. That is why it is important to be extra careful to avoid the waveguide components from melting specifically during the heating period.
These electrical connectors make up a huge part of the microwave technology manufacturing market. Connectors are conductive devices that are used for connecting electrical circuits. It also serves as the stable joints between microwave components.
The following are some of the common connector types:
Sub-Miniature Version A (SMA)
The SMA connector is a coaxial cable device that can handle multi-megahertz or gigahertz frequency range. In fact, it is capable of handling maximum frequencies between 18 and 26 gigahertz. Some SMA connectors are covered with gold or stainless steel plated heads. Furthermore, there are also smaller versions of the SMA that are available including SMB and SMC connectors.
The Type N connectors are considered as one of the oldest forms of coaxial cable connectors that are used by microwave transmissions. These connectors can handle maximum frequencies between 10 and 12 gigahertz. Usually, they are used in cable television and communication systems.
This is a push-on type of connector that is commonly used when threaded connections are unfeasible. The GPO connector uses a non-threaded lock design. Usually, it is combined with a spring mechanism for improving the alignment. Compared to the other types of connectors, the GPO connectors are easier to apply and remove since it does not require other tools for installation.
Waveguides, connectors, and absorbers are just some of the common electronic components that are used in microwave technology. Consequently, manufacturing these products consist of a large part of the microwave market. Because of the wide range of specifications for these components, microwave assembly can be adjusted in order to meet the requirements of every application.
SEI offers various microwave products, from connectors to antennas. For more information, you may contact us at (408) 374-1031.