Loose Tube Versus Tight Buffer
Loose tube cable manufacturing processes ensure that the optical fiber to buffer tube length ratio is controlled such that no optical fiber is compressed against the tube wall when the tube expands or contracts with changes in temperature.
* Enhanced operating temperatures
* Maximum protection against water penetration (this prevents ice to exist inside the cable) found within the cable core and buffer tubes – prevent ice crush from within the cable, fungus growth, corrosion of metallic cable members when present. * Mechanical protection: the isolation of the fiber means the cable can be subjected to tensile, flexure, twisting, crush, impact and bending forces. * Uses the compound carbon black to give max UV protection
Applications where only loose tube will work: water filled outdoor conduits, anywhere RUS (US Dept of Agriculture Rural Utilities Service) determines the specification
Main applications: outside plant (aerial, duct, direct burial)
Tight buffered cables are typically more sensitive to temperature extremes and mechanical disturbances than are loose tube cables. Tight buffer cables cannot permanently isolate an optical fiber from the influence of moisture and use a colored jacket (not carbon black) so they are not as UV protected.
* Low flame spread or smoke release characteristics
Applications where only tight buffer will work: tight bend
Main applications: (single) pigtails, patch cords, jumpers to terminate loose-tube cables directly into opto-electronic transmitters, receivers and other active and passive components, (multi) used primarily for alternative routing and handling flexibility and ease within buildings, cordage (connection between patch panels/cross-connects/zipcord [2 single fiber cables connected by a thin web])
* Designed to withstand compressive forces applied from outside the cable jacket
ICEA S-104-696, “Standard for Indoor –...
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