Do you know the difference between soft waveguides and hard waveguides?

Soft waveguide is a transmission line that serves as a buffer between microwave equipment and feeders. The inner wall of the soft waveguide has a corrugated structure, which is very flexible and can withstand complex bending, stretching and compression. Therefore, it is widely used in the connection between microwave equipment and feeders. The electrical properties of the soft waveguide mainly include frequency range, standing wave, attenuation, average power, and pulse power; the physical and mechanical properties mainly include bending radius, repeated bending radius, corrugation period, stretchability, inflation pressure, operating temperature, etc. Next, let’s explain how soft waveguides differ from hard waveguides.







1. Flange: In many installation and test laboratory applications, it is often difficult to find a rigid waveguide structure with a completely suitable flange, orientation, and optimal design. If it is customized, you need to wait for weeks to months for delivery. Expect. Such long lead times are bound to cause inconvenience in situations such as design, repair or replacement of parts.

2. Flexibility: Some types of soft waveguides can be bent in the direction of the wide surface, others can be bent in the direction of the narrow surface, and some can be bent in both the direction of the wide surface and the narrow surface. Among the soft waveguides, there is a special type called "twisted waveguide". As the name suggests, this type of soft waveguide can twist along the length direction. In addition, there are waveguide devices that combine various functions mentioned above.


Twisted waveguide machined from rigid construction and brazed metal.

3. Material: Unlike hard waveguides, which are made of hard structures and welded/brazed metals, soft waveguides are made of folded, tightly interlocking metal segments. Some flexible waveguides are also structurally strengthened by sealing welding the seams within interlocking metal segments. Each joint of these interlocking segments can be slightly bent. Therefore, under the same structure, the longer the length of the soft waveguide, the greater its bendability. In addition, the design structure of the interlocking section also requires that the waveguide channel formed inside it is as narrow as possible.


4. Length: Soft waveguides come in various lengths and can be twisted and bent within a wide range, thereby solving various installation problems caused by misalignment. Other uses for flexible waveguides include the positioning of microwave antennas or parabolic reflectors. These devices require multiple physical adjustments to ensure correct alignment. Flexible waveguides can achieve alignment quickly, thus effectively reducing costs.

In addition, for applications that generate various types of vibration, shock, or creep, soft waveguides will be better than hard waveguides because they can provide more sensitive waveguide components with the ability to isolate vibration, shock, and creep. In applications with drastic temperature changes, even mechanically robust interconnect devices and structures may be damaged due to thermal expansion and contraction. Soft waveguides can expand and contract slightly to adapt to various thermal changes. In situations where extreme thermal expansion and contraction are a problem, the soft waveguide can also achieve greater deformation by configuring additional bending rings.

The above is about the difference between soft waveguides and hard waveguides. It can be seen from the above that the advantages of soft waveguides are greater than those of hard waveguides, because soft waveguides can adjust the connection with the equipment due to their better bending and twisting during the design process, while hard waveguides There is difficulty. At the same time, soft waveguides are also more cost-effective.

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Post time: Mar-05-2024

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