ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY

5G Radome Superhydrophobic Coating Solves “Rain Decay Effect”


Recently, the silicon-based functional materials group of the Environmental Materials and Ecological Chemistry R&D Center of the Lanzhou Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, cooperated with Shandong Xinna Ultra-loose New Materials Co., Ltd. to develop a 5G radome and radome superhydrophobic rainproof decay coating with excellent pressure resistance, mechanical stability and weather resistance, which can effectively solve the “rain decay effect” of 5G signals in rainfall. The paper was published in Nature Communications.

5G technology is China’s major strategic layout, at present, China has built the world’s largest 5G network, which requires a large number of 5G base station support. 5G radome is an important part of 5G base station, used to protect the antenna system from the interference of the external complex environment, improve the accuracy and service life of the antenna. 5G signals currently operate in the < 6 GHz band, and 30-300 GHz millimeter waves will be used in the future. Therefore, 5G signals are susceptible to external interference, especially the “rain decay effect”.

Zhang Junping, the leader of the research group, told China Science News that the superhydrophobic coating has the characteristics of high droplet contact angle and low rolling angle, and the droplets are easy to roll off the surface, which has broad application prospects in the fields of self-cleaning surface, anti-liquid adhesion, and anti-liquid spreading, and is very promising to be used on the surface of 5G radomes to solve its “rain decay effect”.

The researchers solved the problem of high production costs by using common, low-cost raw materials to prepare coatings. Through the systematic design of the coating, a large-area superhydrophobic coating with excellent comprehensive performance was successfully prepared by a simple one-step spraying method. In addition, the long-term outdoor stability of the superhydrophobic coating has been successfully overcome.

After 3 years of research and development, industrialization and large-scale application, the coating performance has been greatly improved. In the future, the team will explore more potential application fields of superhydrophobic coatings, and realize the engineering applications of superhydrophobic coatings in high-voltage transmission lines, bridges, tunnel anti-icing, 5G radomes, radomes against rain and decay, anti-hazardous liquid adhesion, waterproof and oilproof films of electronic products, and self-cleaning municipal engineering. In addition, the research and application of the coating is of great significance to environmental protection and sustainable development, which will further reduce project maintenance, cleaning times, energy consumption and labor costs. (Source: Ye Manshan, China Science News)

Related paper information:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-023-38678-0

Rain decay resistance and engineering applications of superhydrophobic coatings. Photo courtesy of Lanzhou Chemical Institute



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