Laird Develops Microwave Absorbers for Harsh Environmental Conditions and Military Applications

Laird R and F Products has developed a series of lightweight and corrosion-resistant microwave absorbers that perform reliably at low frequencies and amid harsh environmental conditions. Designed to meet the needs of military and aerospace design engineers working to attenuate surface currents, internal cavity noise and surface reflections in electronics systems.

The RF-LW series of absorbers features:

  • Higher permeability and permittivity than standard magnetic fillers.
  • Corrosion-resistant particles that ensure high performance amid exposure to water and compliance with ASTM B117 salt fog requirements.
  • A lighter and thinner footprint than materials traditionally used to absorb frequencies below 8 GHz.

Historically, absorbing materials used at low frequencies have been thick and heavy and vulnerable to corrosion. To address this issue, Laird investigated new metal alloys, particle morphology and processing parameters to develop particles with higher magnetic permeability and permittivity than traditional iron fillers. The result is the RF-LW series of absorbers, which are resistant to corrosion and thinner and lighter than traditional iron-loaded materials.

Designed to address antenna-to-antenna interference issues, internal cavity resonance and interfering reflections amid harsh conditions, such as high temperatures, salt fog environments, and exposure to fuels and fluids.

The RF-LW series is available in three materials:

  • Nitrile elastomers offer fuel and fluid resistance and are effective on military aircraft and naval ships across a wide range of temperatures (from -65 to 280 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Fluorosilicone elastomers perform reliably in high-temperature applications (up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit). These rugged elastomers also withstand exposure to harsh substances such as jet fuel and deicing fluids.
  • Silicone elastomers are most effective within electronics housings, whereas the nitrile and fluorosilicone elastomers are designed for use on the outside of military vehicles and equipment.

RF-LW absorbers from Laird R&F Products are available in single-band and multi-layer designs. Further, Laird R&F Products can customize the absorbers to meet the specifications of a wide range of military and aerospace applications. Using its robust database of material properties and its advanced modeling software, Laird R&F Products can assess absorber performance across frequencies and angles of incidence at various thicknesses and weights. Then, the Laird R&F Products team can optimize absorber design and performance.

Click here to learn more about RF-LW Absorbers.