What Makes Fiberglass Perfect for Cellular Screening?

Radiation has always been a factor in construction. Building materials, like concrete, are engineered to withstand the constant bombardment of the sun’s high-energy spectrum of light (ultraviolet, visible, and infrared wavelengths). Arguably, builders have been contending with electromagnetic radiation since the very first structures were erected to provide shelter from the elements and the heat of the sun. However, modern architects now face an inverted problem: How do you make materials transparent to certain electromagnetic frequencies?

As cellular dependency grows worldwide, rooftop cell sites and signal-boosting antennae are becoming a common sight. This is partially due to the inhibiting effects of aluminum, concrete, and steel roof structures that are either reflective of signals, or inhibitive of their transmission. Persistent complaints find these structures to be obtrusive; reducing the aesthetic value of surrounding properties. Screening these arrays is now mandatory in many municipalities, but, once again, the issue of electromagnetic interference (EMI) comes into play.

Fiberglass is the ideal material when it comes to cellular screening applications. In this blog post, Strongwell explores why.

How Do Cellular Frequencies Work?

When you make a call on a cell phone, a transmitter encodes the sounds you make onto a continuous sine wave. As the name might suggest, a continuous sine wave is an electromagnetic wave that radiates outwards from the transmitter with a continuous amplitude and frequency. Your voice is encoded into this signal and transmitted by your phone antenna. This waveform exists on the same electromagnetic spectrum as sunlight, although at extremely low frequencies and in a non-ionizing format.

Materials that are reflective of UV-Vis-IR light are often opaque to other electromagnetic signals, like radio waves. If you were to wrap your cell phone in aluminum foil it would not be able to receive signals due to the EMI of aluminum. The same basic principle applies when using materials for cellular screening.

Using Fiberglass in Cellular Screening

Fiberglass makes such an effective cellular screening material because it is neither conductive nor magnetic, two properties that distort electromagnetic signals. Cellular screens made from fiberglass contain no metal materials, relying instead on reinforcing glass fibers and polymeric binders. These components make fiberglass more transparent to electromagnetic signals than typical materials used in rooftop structures.

You can learn more about the benefits of fiberglass in our previous blog post: EM and RF Transparent Screenings from Strongwell.

Fiberglass Cellular Solutions from Strongwell

Strongwell has helped clients across the U.S. achieve the perfect solution for their cellular screening and rooftop construction applications. With unmatched experience in the pultrusion of custom fiberglass products with advanced capabilities for modern markets, we are confident in our ability to meet any customer specifications when it comes to optimizing communications.

We expect demand for these solutions to only increase with the onset of 5G in the U.S. – the latest iteration of cellular technology, designed for rapid responsiveness and increased speed of communications.

Just read our cellular case studies for examples of how well our fiberglass products have performed for similar customers in the past. Or, contact a member of the Strongwell team today if you have any queries.