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How fibre is insulated for use in harsh environments

How fibre is insulated for use in harsh environments

Fibre optic cable not only gives you immunity to interference and greater signal security, but it’s also constructed to insulate the fibre’s core from the stress associated with use in harsh environments.

Fibre cable contains a coating of acrylate plastic

The core is a very delicate channel that’s used to transport data signals from an optical transmitter to an optical receiver. To help reinforce the core, absorb shock, and provide extra protection against cable bends, fibre cable contains a coating of acrylate plastic.

In an environment free from the stress of external forces such as temperature, bends, and splices, fibre optic cable can transmit light pulses with minimal attenuation. And although there will always be some attenuation from external forces and other conditions, there are two methods of cable construction to help isolate the core: loose-tube and tight-buffer construction.

Loose-tube construction

In a loose-tube construction, the fibre core literally floats within a plastic gel-filled sleeve. Surrounded by this protective layer, the core is insulated from temperature extremes, as well as from damaging external forces such as cutting and crushing.

Tight-core construction

In a tight-core construction, the plastic extrusion method is used to apply a protective coating directly over the fibre coating. This helps the cable withstand even greater crushing forces. But while the tight-buffer design offers greater protection from core breakage, it’s more susceptible to stress from temperature variations. Conversely, while it’s more flexible than loose-tube cable, the tight-buffer design offers less protection from sharp bends or twists.

Learn more:
Fibre Optic connectors.