Testing & Certifications
Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corporation has three manufacturing locations for the production of radomes & composite structures. Our US-based sites are located in Ravenna, Ohio (Cleveland-Akron area) and Puyallup, Washington (Seattle area). We also have a production facility in Bordeaux, France.
Lamination Clean Room
An environmentally controlled Clean room is used for the lamination of composite materials. This controlled area assures that optimum conditions exist for the handling, use and storage of prepreg laminates and materials used in the manufacture of radomes. The radomes are vacuum bagged in the Clean room and moved to the ovens that are centrally located to control contamination, minimize tooling mold movement and enhance operator efficiency.
Large Curing Capacity
Large capacity, electronically controlled ovens are in operation for curing most of the standard radome product line. Molds are rotated through the ovens and cured on a daily basis. Cure cycles are temperature controlled to ensure proper heat rate and dwell times are used to get maximum efficiency and uniformity of the cured radome. The ovens can operate to a maximum temperature of 600°F.
Sheet Metal Department
Saint-Gobain maintains a broad range of metal forming equipment and tooling in their sheet metal department for forming and installing metalwork into radomes. Typical metalwork includes attachment frames, latches, clips, antenna mounts, lightning diverters, and other special metalwork. Heat-treating and surface treatment facilities are located nearby for treating metalwork as required. Saint-Gobain has also qualified hydro forming subcontractors readily available for forming large or high volume parts.
Radomes are painted in spray booths located in the facility, all are fully equipped with temperature and positive air pressure controls to assure a proper environment for painting radomes. The plant has just installed a new air compressor with air drying capability to provide optimum compressed air for the painting process. Saint-Gobain’s painters are experienced in the application of all radome paint systems, including epoxy primers, anti-static coatings, polyurethane topcoat finishes, and erosion resistant finishes.
Machining & Tooling Capability
Saint-Gobain has in-house shops for the manufacture of machined parts and composite tooling. In addition, there are numerous shops in the immediate area that provide widely varying degrees of sophistication for machining and tooling manufacture. This industrial base is indicative of the steel, automotive, and rubber industries prevalent to the area that continues to utilize local resources for tool development.
Saint-Gobain maintains a fully equipped radio frequency indoor anechoic chamber test range for testing radomes of all sizes and shapes. The electromagnetic test equipment is Hewlett Packard (HP) electronic equipment; this is kept accurate and calibrated per MIL-STD-45662 under annual contract with HP. The capabilities of the test range include:
- Fully absorbed anechoic chamber in an enclosed room to assure accurate radar signal measurement
- Automated Test Equipment to assure repeatable and accurate radome tests
- Full test range capability, including tests for: transmission, reflection, beam deflection, main lobe beam width, and side lobe level (to –40dB)
- Continuous azimuth scanning during electromagnetic testing of radomes. Elevation Tilts up to ±30° for any size of nose radome and Azimuth Scans up to ±90° provided there is antenna clearance; selectable data increments of 0.05° (0.50° typical).
- Color Test Reports plotted on a HP plotter for permanent test records.
- Full Compliance to RTCA DO-213 MOPS and ARTC-4 electromagnetic testing requirements.
- Special adaptive equipment to test special mission radomes.
Saint-Gobain has been testing radomes for 35 years and has performed radome electromagnetic testing on a broad range of radomes. The test range is staffed by experienced technicians who are thoroughly knowledgeable in radar and radome electromagnetic testing. The test range can be configured to test radomes of all sizes and shapes, including Airbus widebody (A300, A310, A330, A340), Boeing 747 and Lockheed C-130 size radomes and large belly mount radomes. The test range is also used at the Saint-Gobain FAA Approved Repair Station to evaluate damaged or poor performing radomes. Repaired radomes can be fully tested before and after repair to assure that the radome meets the required radar transmission performance