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- Date published: 17/07/2019
Fibre cable is typically made from silica, but some other materials can be used for longer-wavelength infrared or other specialized applications.
(silica is the major constituent of sand) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silicon_dioxide
A typical fibre cable starts as a large glass rod with a dimension of several centimetre's and approx 1 metre long. It is then transformed into a thin fibre with a diameter of 125 micrometres and several kilometres long.
Not such an easy task.
The process starts by placing the glass rod in a corrosive bath to remove any oil residue that might be there. Two of these glass rods are then heated till the peak temperature is reached, which becomes visible to us when the glass turns white.
As a result, what is called a pre-form is created. The making of the preform is an automated process and can take several hours in itself. The pre-form is then loaded into a drawing tower.
It is then drawn further to make the hair-thin glass we have become familiar with. Then these fibre's get buffer coatings applied to them to protect the glass. They are then wound onto a cable drum. These drums can be over 2 km long.
The finished optical fibre is also tested for things such as refractive index profile, attenuation, (bandwidth), chromatic dispersion, operating temperature/humidity range and temperature dependence of attenuation.
It is not quite as simple as this, but it gives you some idea of the process at least!
If that does not give fibre cable a hero status nothing will!
To know more on how it all works check out this previous blog.
The main reasons fibre cable has become so popular is because of it's large data capacity, bandwidth, speed and distance compared to any of the other cable options.
Fibre cable is available in several configurations, all with multiple fibre strands. Each of these strands carries information in the form of light.
Fibre Cable comes mainly in two forms being either single-mode fibre cable or various types of multimode fibre cables.
You can go to one of our other blogs to learn more about single-mode and multimode fibre cables.
What are the benefits of Fibre Cable:-
The benefits for us are many being
- light in weight
- it does not corrode or rust
- low attenuation (losses).
- more available bandwidth,
- higher reliability.
- can not tap into easily without being detected
just to name a few.
Fibre cable is a complicated process based on a very simple principle - light travelling through glass.
Choosing the right cable for the task is the next step. Fibre Optic Cable