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1. (WO2017137737) WAVEGUIDES
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CLAIMS

A waveguide comprising first and second waveguide sections, each waveguide section comprising a main body portion (12) and a connecting portion (14) at its distal end, said first and second waveguide sections being longitudinally aligned to define a conduit therethrough with a butted interface (28) therebetween, characterized in that the connecting portion (14) of each waveguide section has: (i) a first circumferential ridge (16) on its outer surface located adjacent its distal end, (ii) a second circumferential ridge (18) on its outer surface spaced apart from the first circumferential ridge, and (iii) a third circumferential ridge (20) on its outer surface located between said first and second circumferential ridges, such that a first respective recess (19) is defined between said second and third circumferential ridges and a second respective recess (17) is defined between said first and third circumferential ridges; and in that the waveguide further comprises a sleeve member (22) over said butted interface (28), such that a respective first cavity (19a) is defined between an inner surface of said sleeve member (22) and each said first recess (19) and a respective second cavity is defined between the inner surface of said sleeve member (22) and each said second recess (17), each said first cavity (19a) having a chemical adhesive therein operative to join said first and second waveguide sections together by means of said sleeve member (22).

A waveguide according to claim 1 , wherein the outer edges of each first recess (19) are joined to, or formed integrally with, the second and third circumferential ridges (18, 20) by respective convex (fillet) corners (21 ) or 'rounds'.

A waveguide according to claim 1 or claim 2, wherein an outer edge of each second recess (17) is joined to, or formed integrally with, the third circumferential ridge (20) by a substantially right-angled corner.

A waveguide according to claim 3, wherein the opposing outer edge of each second recess (17) is joined to, or integrally formed with, the first circumferential ridge (16) by a substantially right-angled corner.

A waveguide according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the circumferential ridges (16, 18, 20) define an external diameter of said respective connecting end (14) that substantially matches the inner diameter of said sleeve member (22).

A waveguide according to claim 5, wherein a maximum distance between said ridges and an inner wall of said sleeve member is

0.025mm or less.

A waveguide according to any of the preceding claims, wherein the connecting ends (14) of said first and second waveguide sections are substantially identical, said butted interface (28) is substantially flat and substantially perpendicular to a waveguide axis defined by said conduit, and said sleeve member (22) comprises a tubular member configured to surround said butted interface (28).

A waveguide according to any of claims 1 to 6, wherein the connecting end of said first waveguide section comprises a male end piece and the connecting end of said second waveguide section comprises a female end portion including a sleeve portion for receiving said male end portion and aligning said waveguide sections with a choked interface

therebetween.

A waveguide according to claim 8, wherein the male end piece includes a recess extending from its distal end of length one quarter of the waveguide wavelength, and the recess, together with a gap between said male and female end pieces of length one quarter of said waveguide wavelength, defines said choked interface.

A method of manufacturing a waveguide comprising the steps of:

providing first and second waveguide sections, each waveguide section comprising a main body portion (12) and a connecting portion (14) at its distal end, the connecting portion (14) of each waveguide section having: (i) a first circumferential ridge (16) on its outer surface located adjacent its distal end, (ii) a second circumferential ridge (18) on its outer surface spaced apart from the first circumferential ridge, and (iii) a third circumferential ridge (20) on its outer surface located between said first and second circumferential ridges, such that a first respective recess (19) is defined between said second and third circumferential ridges and a second respective recess (17) is defined between said first and third circumferential ridges;

placing said first and second waveguide sections in longitudinal alignement to define a conduit therethrough with a butted interface (28) therebetween;

placing a sleeve member (22) over said butted interface (28), such that a respective first cavity (19a) is defined between an inner surface of said sleeve member (22) and each said first recess (19) and a respective second cavity is defined between the inner surface of said sleeve member (22) and each said second recess (17); and

introducing, into each said first cavity, a chemical adhesive so as to join said first and second waveguide sections together by means of said sleeve member (22).

A method according to claim 10, wherein the sleeve member (22) has at least one hole (24) therein, and the method includes the step of injecting said chemical adhesive into said first cavity (19a) through said at least one hole (24), and optionally further including the step of applying a preload to said butted interface (28) prior to introducing said chemical adhesive into said first cavity (19a).

A method according to claim 10 or claim 1 1 , including the steps of determining, in respect of a bond-line provided by said chemical adhesive within said first cavity (19a), a maximum strength under shear load, identifying a thickness of said bond-line associated with said determined maximum strength, and providing a first and/or second waveguide section having a connecting end with a first recess (19a) having a depth substantially matching said thickness.

A waveguide section for use in a method according to any of claims 10 to 12, comprising a main body portion (12) and a connecting portion (14) at its distal end, the connecting portion (14) having: (i) a first circumferential ridge (16) on its outer surface located adjacent its distal end, (ii) a second circumferential ridge (18) on its outer surface spaced apart from the first circumferential ridge, and (iii) a third circumferential ridge (20) on its outer surface located between said first and second circumferential ridges, such that a first respective recess (19) is defined between said second and third circumferential ridges and a second respective recess (17) is defined between said first and third circumferential ridges.

A connecting end for a waveguide section according to claim 13, comprising a generally tubular member having: (i) a first circumferential ridge (16) on its outer surface located adjacent its distal end, (ii) a second circumferential ridge (18) on its outer surface spaced apart from the first circumferential ridge, and (iii) a third circumferential ridge (20) on its outer surface located between said first and second circumferential ridges, such that a first respective recess (19) is defined between said second and third circumferential ridges and a second respective recess (17) is defined between said first and third circumferential ridges, said connecting end being configured to be affixed to an end of a waveguide section.

A connecting end for a second waveguide section for use in a method according to any of claims 10 to 12 with a first waveguide section according to claim 13, wherein said connecting end comprises a sleeve member (22) configured to receive the connecting end of said first waveguide section, said connecting member (14) being configured to be affixed to an end of said second waveguide section.