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Microwave Characterization of Conductive PLA and Its Application to a 12 to 18 GHz 3-D Printed Rotary Vane Attenuator

Marquez-Segura, E; Shin, S H; Dawood, A; Ridler, N M; Lucyszyn, S (2021) Microwave Characterization of Conductive PLA and Its Application to a 12 to 18 GHz 3-D Printed Rotary Vane Attenuator. IEEE Access, 9. pp. 84327-84343.

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Abstract

This paper demonstrates an ultra-light weight microwave rotary vane attenuator (RVA) manufactured using polymer-based 3-D printing. In addition, for the first time, conductive polylactic acid (PLA) is rigorously characterized across both X- and Ku-bands (8 to 18 GHz); while acrylonitrile butadiene-styrene (ABS) has similarly been characterized across Ku-band (12 to 18 GHz). Using the results from the conductive PLA characterization process, an electromagnetic model was created for predicting the performance of the RVA. It is shown that, even with its complex internal geometrical features, a mix of both dielectric and conductive PLA building materials, an assembly of multiple parts and a mechanically rotating central section, our experimental proof-of-concept prototype RVA exhibits excellent measured performance across Ku-band. This tunable microwave control device represents a higher-level of functionality for additive manufacturing, when compared to a fixed (i.e., non-movable) 3-D printed structure, opening the way for other groups to routinely 3-D print custom microwave components and subsystems in the not too distant future.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Electromagnetics > RF and Microwave
Divisions: Electromagnetic & Electrochemical Technologies
Identification number/DOI: 10.1109/ACCESS.2021.3087012
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2022 14:22
URI: http://eprintspublications.npl.co.uk/id/eprint/9427

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