There is a wide assortment of applications for fiber optic cables, which is why they’re popping up in more and more places today. You will find fiber optic cables in telecommunications networks, in hospitals, in cars, and even in certain types of outdoor lighting. But do you know what fiber optic cables are actually made from? Here are some of the materials commonly found in fiber optic cables.
POLYVINYL CHLORIDE, BETTER KNOWN AS PVC
PVC can be found in fiber optic cables that are used both inside and outside. It features flame retardant properties and is resistant to many different environmental factors. It’s not quite as flexible as polyethylene, or PE, but you will still find it in many fiber optic cables despite this.
POLYETHYLENE, BETTER KNOWN AS PE
PE is one of the most popular cable jacket materials used in those fiber optic cables found outdoors. It’s resistant to both moisture and weather and is also known to be a great insulator. It can become very stiff when it gets cold outside, but PE is more flexible than PVC in most instances. You can make PE flame retardant by treating it with special chemicals.
Typically found in fiber optic cables that are used for indoor applications, fluoropolymers are flame resistant and include low smoke properties. They also make fiber optic cables very flexible.
When fiber optic cables are buried deep underground for outdoor applications, they need to be protected. Steel armor provides them with all the protection they need. It can offer them crush resistance and prevent rodents from doing damage to the cables. Cables that include steel armor do need to be grounded properly, but there are advantages that make it worth the effort on the part of a fiber optic cable installer.
You will often find aramid yarn inside of the cable jacket of fiber optic cables. It surrounds the fibers inside of the cables and protects them. It’s one of the things that makes fiber optic cables so durable and long-lasting.