How to choose the right Armored Fiber Patch Cable
Fiber optic jumper cables, as one of the most common component in fiber optic networks, are a transmission medium used to transmit data via light. There are many types of fiber optic jumper cables. For example, by fiber optic cable types, there are single mode patch cable and multimode patch cord; by optical connector, there are ST ST fiber patch cable, LC SC fiber patch cable, and so on; and by fiber optic cable jacket, there are PVC and LSZH fiber patch cords. And you can even order custom fiber patch cables with custom lengths and colors. In this post, a type of fiber patch cord, armored fiber patch cable, will be introduced.
The outer sleeve of armored fiber patch cable is usually made of plastics, like polyethylene, to protect it against solvents and abrasions. The layer between sleeve and inner jacket is an armored layer made of materials that are quite difficult to cut, chew and burn. Besides, this kind of material is able to prevent armored fiber patch cable from being stretched during cable installation. Ripcords are usually provided directly under the armored and the inner sleeve to aid in stripping the layer for splicing the cable to connectors or terminators. And the inner jacket is a protective and flame retardant material to support the inner fiber cable bundle. The inner fiber cable bundle often includes structures to support the fibers inside, like fillers and strength members. Among them, there is usually a central strength member to support the whole fiber cable.
Armored fiber patch cable, as a member of fiber optic jumper cables family, it retains all the features of standard fiber patch cables. Compared with those common patch cables, armored fiber patch cables are much stronger and tougher. For example, once stepped by an adult, standard patch cables may get damaged easily and fail to work normally. But armored fiber patch cables can withstand the pressure and perform well. Armored fiber patch cables are rodent-resistant, which means that you don't need to worry about rats biting the cables.
Basically, armored fiber patch cables offer benefits and features of traditional fiber patch cables, but they are with the production and durability of armor. Armored fiber patch cables allow high flexibility without causing damage, which proves to be helpful especially in limited space. Moreover, armored fiber patch cables offer an ideal option for harsh environments without adding extra protection. Apparently, they provide an efficient solution for many fiber cable problems such as twist, pressure and rodent damage.
There are mainly two types of armored fiber patch cable, indoor armored fiber patch cable and outdoor armored fiber patch cable.
Indoor armored fiber patch cable is used for indoor applications. It consists of tight-buffered or loose-buffered optical fibers, strength members and an inner jacket. The inner jacket is commonly surrounded by a spirally wrapped interlocking metal tap armor. As the fiber optic communication technology develops rapidly with the trend of FTTX, there is a fast growing demand for installing indoor fiber optic cables between and inside buildings. Indoor fiber patch cable experiences less temperature and mechanical stress. Besides, it can retard fire effectively, which means it only emits a low level of smoke in the face of fire.
Outdoor armored fiber patch cable is designed to ensure operation safety of the fiber in complicated outdoor environments. Most outdoor armored fiber patch cables are loose buffer design, with the strength member in the middle of the whole cable, loose tubes surrounding the central strength member. Inside the loose tube there are waterproof gels filled, the whole cable materials and gels inside the cable between different components (not only inside the loose tube) help make the whole cable resist water. The combination of the outer jacket and the armor protects the fibers from gnawing animals and damages that occur during direct burial installations.
Armored fiber patch cable is generally adopted in direct buried outside plant applications where a rugged cable is needed for rodent resistance. It has metal armor between two jackets to prevent from rodent penetration. Armored fiber patch cables can withstand crush loads well. Another application of armored fiber patch cable is in data centers, in which cables are installed under the floor where it can be easily crushed. Single or double armored fiber patch cable is typically used underwater near shores and shoals. And armored fiber patch cords are also used in customer premises, central offices and in indoor harsh environments. They can provide flexible interconnection to active equipment, passive optical devices and cross-connects.
In summary, when transmitting data or conducting power in harsh environments, protecting your cables is crucial to safe and reliable operation. This is where armored fiber patch cables come into play. Armored fiber patch cables are used in applications where cables will be exposed to mechanical or environmental damage under normal operating conditions.
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