Six Things You Must Know About Fiber Optic Cable Materials
Environment requirement on outdoor fiber optic cables
Outdoor fiber cables must endure harsh environment factors such as UV radiation from
sunlight, storms, snows and 80 mph wind, so outdoor cables must be strong, weatherproof
and UV resistant. The outdoor cable should also be able to endure the wild temperature
variations both during installation and throughout its life span.
These factors determine the materials used for the cable construction. Various
materials are used to suit the installation environment.
Outdoor cable jacket is treated to prevent UV light from penetrating inside the cable
and damaging the internal glass fibers. Extra UV protection specification can be specified
Environment requirement on indoor fiber optic cables
Indoor fiber cables should be strong and flexible for easy pulling and installation.
They should also possess NEC required fire and smoke ratings. As a industry standard
practice, single mode fiber jacket is yellow and multimode fiber jacket is orange.
Popular cable materials in fiber optic cable construction
1. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
1. Good resistance to environmental effects.
Some formulations are rated for -55°C to +55°C.
2. Good flame retardant properties. Can be used
for both outdoor and indoor fiber optic cables.
3. PVC is less flexible than PE (Polyethylene)
2. PE (Polyethylene)
1. Popular cable jacket material for outdoor fiber cables
2. Very good moisture and weather resistance properties
3. Very good insulator
4. Can be very stiff in colder temperatures
5. If treated with proper chemicals, PE can be flame retardant
1. Good flame-resistance properties
2. Low smoke properties
3. Good flexibility
4. Most often used for indoor fiber cables