Characteristics, Advantages, And Applications of Loose Tube Fiber Optic Cables

What is loose tube fiber optic cable?

Loose tube fiber optic cable is designed for harsh outdoor environments. The cable protects the fiber optic core, cladding, and coating by enclosing everything in a semi-rigid protective tube or tubes. In loose tube fiber optic cables that accommodate multiple fibers, each individual tube core is loosely bundled within an all-encompassing outer jacket.

In addition, many loose tube fiber optic cables have waterproof gel surrounding the fibers. This gel helps prevent fiber moisture, making the cable an ideal choice for harsh, high-humidity environments where water or condensation issues may arise. The gel-filled tubes can also expand and contract with temperature changes.

In a loose tube structure, the fibers are laid in semi-rigid tubes that allow the cable to stretch without putting tension on the fibers themselves, protecting the fibers from tension during installation and temperature variations. Loose tube fiber optic cables can be dry-blocked or gel-filled. Dry-block offers less fiber protection compared to gel-filling, but is much more cost-effective.

1 to 12 fibers are placed in individual waterproof buffer tubes to isolate them from external forces and are typically twisted around a glass fiber central strength member to provide additional strength and resistance. Loose tube fiber optic cables can usually accommodate up to 432 fibers in total within these tubes.

Characteristics and advantages of loose tube fiber optic cables

Loose tube fiber optic cables offer stable and highly reliable optical transmission characteristics over a wide temperature range. Furthermore, loose tube fiber optic cables provide better protection for tensioned fibers, have excellent temperature resistance, offer UV protection, protect fibers from moisture with waterproof tape, have a small diameter, are lightweight, and easy to install.

Applications of loose tube fiber optic cables

Loose tube fiber optic cables are commonly used in overhead, pipeline, and direct buried applications, local area networks (LAN), metropolitan area networks (MAN), wide area networks (WAN), outdoor installations in long-distance and broadband networks, telecommunications, campus backbone networks, data centers, CATV, broadcasting, computer network systems, user network systems, 10, 40, 100Gbps Ethernet, and more.

Loose tube fiber optic cables provide stable performance over a wide temperature range and are compatible with any telecommunications-grade fiber.

In addition, loose tube fiber optic cables offer optimal fiber protection under high tension and can be easily protected from moisture using waterproof gel or tape.

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