Waveguide Preventative Maintenance
Though many failure modes cannot be predicted or avoided, many of the common failure modes of waveguide assemblies can be avoided by properly accounting for the applications demands and running preventative maintenance programs. If the outer coating/jacket of a waveguide cable run is important in preventing environmental ingress, visual and chemical inspections can be performed regularly along the cable length. For pressurized waveguide systems, checking the pressure, or having automated pressure sensing systems, may prevent a low pressure incidence causing degraded performance or moisture/debris entering the system.
Water ingress can be prevented or quickly repaired if humidity sensors or indicators are installed in proximity to threatened flanges. And, in systems where water exposure cannot be avoided, proper drainage can be implemented with drainage holes or tubes set in areas where water collection could eventually lead to water ingress. Temperature sensors at critical locations can be used to avoid critical thermal breakdown, or automated systems could reveal accelerated aging from thermal stress profiles if used.
Hence, if the time and budget allows, regularly replacing and testing each component of a system outside of peak operation times can lead to a healthy system with limited downtime. Ultimately, if an incident does lead to failure, having waveguide assembly replacement components on hand could also lead to less downtime and lower maintenance costs.