Antenna Domes & Sleeves
When it comes to antennas protection from the environment with minimal signal loss is usually the objective. Hoods, domes and sleeves made from ABS, PC/ABS and PC can provide protection from water ingress and dust while also absorbing impact from falling items or contact with hard objects. These materials are also nearly transparent to most electromagnetic frequencies resulting in a negligible loss of signal strength. We prototype and manufacture antenna covers ranging from simple hand-held wands to complex shaped radomes used in military applications.
Demand for plastic housings is also driven by the fact that more and more antennas are now embedded in the circuit board which means the housing protecting the electronics can no longer be made of a conductive metal. In many cases a newer version of a PCB may not even have a connector for an external antenna. Our process allows for a cost effective substitution for legacy sheet metal housings to accommodate embedded antennas.
On the other hand, sometimes it is necessary to block a radio signal and/or protect a circuit from electromagnetic interference (EMI). Silver, copper and nickel based coatings make it possible to selectively shield certain parts of an enclosure or the entire housing. In most cases a nickel-based paint offers the most cost effective protection. The plastic sheet to be proceeded is coated prior to CNC machining and thermo-forming. This eliminates the need for masking and post-machining clean up as would be required for injection molded parts. Here the zero-tooling method has a clear advantage and it is common to have housings
and covers assembled and solvent-welded from coated and non-coated parts creating an envelope that is open to transmissions and shielded in selected areas.
In conclusion, fabricated plastic antenna covers, sleeves and domes offer an economical, weather-proof, corrosion-resistant and visually appealing solution for a wide range of sizes with the added benefit of optional selective EMI shielding.