Optical Fiber Cable Construction
The structure of bulk fiber optic cables have many important characteristics. The fiber optic cable construction needs to provide protection from the external environment in the installation and the fiber optic cable work life time.
They must provide mechanical protection for all the fibers inside the cable, in the meantime, the fiber optic cable has to be pretty easy to handle. Most the time, non-metallic strength members are needed to fully take advantage of fiber’s dielectric property.
Bulk fiber optic cable will experience tensile stress, abrasion, cutting, flexing, bending, crushing during the installation and its operation life. These mechanical stresses introduce macrobending, microbending, light signal loss attenuation.
Due to incomplete production, small surface defects often exist in the optical fibers. So in the real world, fibers tend to break at the cracks that begin from these surface defects under heavy tensile tension.
Bulk Fiber Optic Cable Structural Elements
Optical cables can be divided into several main types. However, the basic elements in a fiber cables are a central strength member, be it metallic or non-metallic, strength members, water barrier (dry water swelling tapes or water blocking gel), a fiber housing (loose tube), and cable sheaths. Armored fiber cables also have aluminum or steel armors for rodent protection for direct burial.
A central strength member sitting in the center of the cable, fiber glass do most of the time. The center provides rigid cable strength members, prevent bulk fiber cable from bending too fast. It also provides the core of the cable.
In addition to the power of the central member, as another layer of fiber strength member is also used. They are made from aramid yarn (most of the time), Nylon yard, fiber glass epoxy rod or even steel. Aramid yarn is also called Kevlar, it has a high breaking strain and about fiber times stronger than steel. They offer low weight and all-dielectric construction.
Types of Bulk Fiber Optic Cable
Bulk fiber optic cables can be categorized into several major types. That includes outdoor cable, fiber optic breakout cable, Ribbon Fiber cable, Figure 8 Aerial cable, Loose tube cable and more.
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