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Best Plastics, Composites, Rubber for structural antenna parts

90303 Views 212 Replies 43 Participants Last post by  300ohm
Just a warning note about using ABS for structural parts that I've mentioned many times before - hopefully what you're planning to use is the thick walled stuff that has little or no flex. If you go to Rona or Lowe's or Home Depot and shake a 10 foot ABS pipe like a sword it flexes a lot. ;) It seems to be rigid, but its not. If you shake a length of PVC like that it will seem like a wet noodle, so avoid using PVC for structural use either, except when recommended in build plans.

From experience I'm clarifying that ABS should never be used as a pole or mast, and it should be carefully considered if you're thinking of using it as a horizontal boom of any length more than a meter or a few feet.
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Acrylite FF acrylic sheets (4.5 mm thick) are my choice for attaching NARODs and NAROD reflectors to the center frame structure of the DBGH build (NARODs to NAROD reflectors spacing is 10").

Here are some of its physical properties:
- withstands exposure to blazing sun, extreme cold, sudden temperature changes, salt water spray, etc. It will not deteriorate after many years of service because of the inherent stability of acrylic resins.
- will expand and contract due to changes in temperature and humidity, it will not shrink with age
- a 48” panel will expand and contract approximately .002” for each degree fahrenheit change in temperature. In outdoor use, where summer and winter temperatures differ as much as 100°F, a 48” sheet will expand and contract approximately 3/16”

... and at a fraction of the cost of lexan, making it a very good choice for my application.
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