Mobile devices. We use them all the time and get really annoyed if we lose our connection for a couple of minutes. We can't believe that it doesn't work. Our children are crying and we have no consolation to offer. This is equally true in a big city or out and about all over the world. What kind of crazy magic is this?
Over the last 10 years alone, Habia Cable's Flexiform coaxial cable has been mounted in about a million cellular antennas every year. Out of the ten biggest manufacturers of radio base stations, a whopping eight use Flexiform to make their antennas work. So, what is the deal with Flexiform? A coax is a coax is a... well, maybe not. There is something special about this wonder cable.
Flexiform for flex and ease
Before Habia Cable invented Flexiform, the only choice for antenna makers was to use a copper coated coaxial cable to connect their components. Interesting fact is that each antenna can require some 200 different pieces of this kind of cable. This made the work difficult and time consuming and if you were to bend a cable snippet too much, you would have to throw it away. Not very sustainable for the planet or the bottom line.
Just bend it, or bend it back
Flexiform is a coaxial cable that can be stripped with normal tools and be bent by hand back and forth. Most of the Flexiform in the world is used in China, since most of the world's producers of antennas and base stations are located there. Habia has had a plant in China for the last 18 years and one of the secrets behind our success is our proximity to our customers.
But getting back to the secret formula that makes Flexiform so popular. What can it be?
How it’s made
Start with a silver-plated copper conductor. The silver-plate is needed to protect the copper from the high temperature that's needed to fuse the PTFE onto the conductor. We mix PTFE powder with naphtha. But after the fuse the naphtha must go. You should probably use 60 meters of ovens with ten different temperature zones. Make sure you do this right, otherwise the PTFE won't stick properly…
Sintering is fun!
In the last part of the oven race, the actual sintering is performed. This is the true test of manufacturing capability. If it's not done right, the stability of the signal through the cable cannot be guaranteed and then your customers will be disappointed because their antennas won't work as promised. Every part of a 1500-meter cable drum must conform and perform in the same way.
Braid it tight
Next, be sure to get your tinned copper braid ready. If you braid it tight enough the braid will sink into the PTFE just enough to make it stick.
To improve the braid’s effectiveness and to give the Flexiform its characteristic semi-flexible properties, we dip it in melted tin. And, please note that it's the tin that makes Flexiform stay in shape after bending. If it was only braid, it would flex back.
Take it to the next level
In our profiled Flexiform, we've added seven longitudinal holes. As you know, a coaxial conductor is happiest in a vacuum. This isn't possible to achieve in this kind of cable, but the seven holes are the next best thing. This makes it possible for us to offer higher signal strength or the same signal strength as regular Flexiform at a lower cost.
Make us a call. Flexiform will connect you.
Our Flexiform is operating at frequencies up to 18 GHz, where high performance and flexibility are required. It's the ideal microwave coaxial cable solution. And so easy to make!