Fibre optic cable is applied as the most advanced communication medium by more and more users. Compared with copper cable, it can support more and better optical signal transmission of voice, data, video, etc. and offer many other advantages. When purchasing fibre optic cables, you must see the cable jacket at first. So what information does the outside jacket tell? What type of cable jacket should you select? Come with me to find the secrets of fibre cable jacket.
Fibre optic cable is constructed very complicated from the inside core, cladding, coating, strengthen fibres to the outside cable jacket. The core made of plastic or glass is the physical medium for optical signal transmission. As bare fibre can be easily broken, cable outer jacket is needed for fibre protection. The cable jacket is the first line of moisture, mechanical, flame and chemical defense for a cable. Without the jacket, fibre optic cables are very likely to be damaged during and after installation.
In most situations, robust cable jacket is better because the environment above or underground may be harsh. For better applications, you’d better take cable jacket seriously. Cable jacket is not as easy as you think. There are many characteristics you need to consider. Except the flexibility, it should withstand very low and high temperature. Whether the cable jacket has the good features of chemical and flame resistance. All these characteristics depend on cable jacket materials.
Cable jacket is made of various types of materials. As mentioned above, the cable jacket should stand the test of different environmental conditions, including the harsh temperature, the sun & the rain, chemicals, abrasion, and so on. The following shows several common cable jacket materials for your reference.
PE (Polyethylene)—PE is the standard jacket material for outdoor fibre optic cables. It has excellent properties of moisture and weather resistance. It also has the good electrical properties over a wide temperature range. Besides, it’s abrasion resistant.
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride )—PVC is flexible and fire-retardant. It can be used as the jacket materials for both indoor and outdoor cables. PVC is more expensive than PE.
LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen)—LSZH jacket is free of halogenated materials which can be transformed into toxic and corrosive matte during combustion. LSZH materials are used to make a special cable called LSZH cable. LSZH cables produce little smoke and no toxic halogen compounds when these cables catch fire. Based on the benefits, LSZH cable is a good choice for inner installations.
Fibre cable jacket colour depends on the fibre cable type. Fibre cable includes single-mode and multimode types. For single-mode fibre cable (Blog about single-mode fibre cable please read my blog What Are OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4?), the jacket colour is typically yellow. While for multimode cable ( more details on multimode fibre cable ), the jacket colour can be orange (OM1&OM2 cable), aqua (OM3 cable) and purple (OM4 cable). For outside plant cables, the jacket colour is black.
To choose a fibre optic cable depends on your own applications. I’ll talk about this from two sides of jacket colour and jacket material. The cable jacket colour is not just for good looking. Different colour means different fibre mode. Which one suits you the most, the yellow or orange fibre cable? You should know well about the colour codes before buying your fibre cables. What’s more, you should also consider the installation requirements and environmental or long-term requirements. Where will be your fibre cables installed, inside or outside the building? Will your cables be exposed to hash environment very long? This can help you decide which jacket material is the best.
As a popular data transmission medium, fibre cable plays an important role in communication field. To some degree, the success of fibre connectivity lies in a right fibre cable. How to buy suitable fibre optic cables? This article describes the method from cable jacket. When selecting fibre cable, many other factors still need to be considered. Hope you can get your own fibre cable.