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Antennas are at the heart of 5G infrastructure. Deliver better 5G network coverage with materials that can help you address key performance and aesthetic needs.
5G aims to deliver a new age of data processing speed, ultra-low latency and ubiquitous connectivity solutions to applications everywhere. That means more antennas need to be designed to accelerate 5G deployment, especially indoors. You face challenges like signal integrity, improving inconspicuousness, heat dissipation for critical components, EMI and PIM mitigation, and need the right materials for the job.
At 3M, we offer solutions that help you optimize 5G antennas and base station assemblies. Solutions like a transparent conductive film that allows for powerful in-building antennas to be hidden in plain sight and glass bubbles formulated with 5G-ready properties for radomes — all so you can enable stronger, more reliable signals in more locations.
New antennas shouldn’t be an eyesore. Materials from 3M can help you blend your 5G antennas and base station assemblies into different environments by design.
3M™ Transparent Conductor Film
3M™ Transparent Conductor Film uses proprietary technology to help you enable transparent antenna designs with 50W continuous power. You can now design antennas that help accelerate network deployments and improve in-building coverage, all while maintaining a low visual profile.
3M™ Glass Bubbles
3M™ Glass Bubbles for 5G can be added to paints and coatings for base station assemblies. Now base stations can exist in aesthetically diverse locations — from historical to modern — all while helping enable your network to deliver a strong 5G signal.
3M™ Envision™ Print Wrap Film
For antenna radomes, 3M™ Envision™ Print Wrap Film is a digitally printed solution that helps you blend your wireless infrastructure into the surrounding built environment. Solutions are easy to install and resist water, soil, UV light and graffiti, without affecting your signal transmission, even at mmWave frequencies.
3M™ Nextel™ Ceramic Fibers
You can combine the look and feel of carbon fiber with metal-like strength and stiffness and high RF transparency. 3M™ Nextel™ Ceramic Fibers feature an exceptional tensile modulus of >350 GPa, enabling you to thin-wall your design while approximately doubling the stiffness provided by glass fibers at the same volume percentage. They are an excellent choice for antenna splits, frames and other parts requiring thin, stiff characteristics.
Noise from EMI and PIM can negatively impact network performance, leaving end users with reduced wireless coverage. Address signal interference with innovative products for 5G antennas and assemblies that can help you control EMI and PIM.
EMI shielding and grounding products
Reduce noise and see the benefits in higher data rates and increased network capacity. Depending on your specific issue, 3M can help you improve grounding and shielding in antennas and assemblies with conductive tapes and other innovations. Think better bondline gap shielding, more reliable contacts to small grounding areas and more.
PIM mitigation products
PIM solutions from 3M have specific compositions to help you reduce internal and external PIM in your 5G antennas and assemblies. Tactics are endless — replace screws within antennas with a conductive adhesive to help improve your PIM performance or even shield corrosion in nearby metal structures — all to get a better signal.
3M™ Electrically Conductive Adhesive Transfer Tape 3304BC-S
3M™ PIM Reduction Kit
The 3M™ PIM Reduction Kit addresses PIM mitigation by absorbing PIM rather than shielding, while also providing you with the possibility of easier installation, zero site downtime and no impediment to antenna adjustment or replacement. Magnetic absorbers are placed adjacent to noise sources (e.g., mounting brackets) and are protected by weatherproofing tapes, so you can address signal interference while standing up to the elements.
3M™ Glass Bubbles
Resin additives like 3M™ Glass Bubbles provide attractive dielectric constant (Dk) and loss factor (Df) values that help you provide a stronger and clearer 5G signal in plastics and composites used for base station assemblies (e.g., radome boxes, antenna covers and printed circuit boards).
Low loss fluoropolymers from 3M for plastics and composite applications help you enable high velocity and transfer speeds, reduced signal transmission power loss and improved signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) compared to other polymers and additives.
As more antennas and assemblies are needed across 5G infrastructure, you need to consider less weight wherever possible. 3M materials can help you reduce weight in different structures and components.
Shed weight with foam conductive gaskets used in many different 5G applications — from small cells to repeaters. Gaskets from 3M can replace screws, helping you drive down costs by cutting assembly time.
3M™ Glass Bubbles
3M™ Glass Bubbles, which can be used as additives for low loss plastics and composite materials, can help you cut resin costs while reducing part weight from 15% to 40%.
Keep your 5G equipment cool and improve your overall network reliability. Antennas and assemblies can benefit from heat management solutions from 3M, with many available in different form factors.
3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids
Depending on your specific assembly, engineered fluids can dissipate heat effectively and efficiently. 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids are dielectric fluids specially formulated to cool down components in a range of 5G applications, such as antenna heat sink fins.
3M™ Thermally Conductive Tapes
Thermal tapes, heat-spreading tapes and other innovative materials can help you bond stainless steel, low-surface-energy substrates and more. Products are relevant for 5G equipment including active antennas, small cells, remote radio units, mobile edge server hardware, repeaters, CPEs and P2P microwave antennas.
3M™ Boron Nitride Cooling Fillers
For applications such as antenna arrays and CCLs for PCBs, 3M™ Boron Nitride Cooling Fillers (BNCFs) can help you enable improved thermal performance and signal transmission. 3M™ BNCFs are intended to help you increase thermal conductivity and limit RF absorption properties in your 5G components. Boron nitride-filled material features excellent dielectric properties including low Dk and Df to help you maintain 5G signal strength and integrity.
Introducing 3M™ Transparent Conductor Film — a transparent, conformable, lightweight and highly conductive copper grid film for transparent 5G antennas
5G network densification is accelerating due to new spectrum allocated by the FCC. The new capacity, combined with an increase in data use — 80% of which is indoors(1) — means a growing need for in-building antennas. Our new 3M™ Transparent Conductor Film uses proprietary metal mesh technology to help you enable inconspicuous antennas with significant power. These antennas, intended for use in locations originally considered inaccessible for aesthetic reasons, allow wireless service providers to improve in-building coverage. Now you can bring 5G speed to more indoor spaces without being a distraction.
3M™ Transparent Conductor Film
Features and benefits:
Blog: Attention in-building antenna designers: Reduce conspicuity with the transparent antenna solution from 3M
Learn about our new 3M™ Transparent Conductor Film and how it helps you enable efficient transparent antenna designs from Jeff Tostenrude, a 3M Advanced Application Development Specialist.
Read about the evolving 5G landscape and how you can bring better coverage indoors.
Have a question about 5G antenna products and solutions? 3M sales representatives are here to help.