Fiber-optic Cables

Fiber-optic cables are network cables that contain one or more optical fibers.  Fiber-optic cables are typically coated with plastic layers with a glass core and contained in it to protect it from environmental factors.  The fiber-optic cables consist of various layers that protect the fibers including resin and light absorbing glass to prevent light from leaking from one fiber into another. This reduces flares and cross-talk between the fibers. These types of cables are armored so that they can be used outside as they are repellent to water which makes them useable as undersea cables.  Fiber-optic cables are also used in telephone poles, submarine installation, and in paved streets.

Fiber-optic cables and strength

Fiber-optic cables are very strong, but the strength can be drastically reduced by tiny unseen surface flaws caused by the manufacturing process.  The strength of the fiber-optic cables must be taken into consideration when evaluating the stress upon the fibers during handling, cabling, and the installation process, also depending on the environmental conditions during each of these.  Dynamic fatigue, static fatigue, and zero stress aging are three main reasons for failure and for reducing of strength of fiber-optic cables.

Fiber-optic cables and safety

Fiber-optic cables can transfer data at the speed of light within the glass chambers.  Because the light cannot be easily seen because it is infrared, there is a safety hazard to technicians and electricians to work with this type of cable.  Sometimes the power levels of fiber-optic cables are dangerous to work with, but can be safely operated on, specifically when special lenses for microscopes are used to inspect and repair the fibers.

Fiber-optic cables can be very expensive because of the fact that they transmit data over a much greater distance than regular network cables. One must be very careful when installing these network cables because of their high cost and the fragility. The reliability of fiber-optic cables all depends on the proper application and installation process.  It's important to make sure that the design before setting up fiber-optic cables is complete and that all communication paths are open.  Using the correct connectors, splices, closures, etc. are also very important to determining the capability of fiber-optic cables after installation.  It's important to make sure that all components and equipment are readily available even if unsure if they will be used when ready to install the fiber optic cables; having inventory readily available whether needed on a needed basis will get the job done quicker and eliminate any hassle for hiccups in procedure.  If hiring an installer, be sure that they are knowledgeable about the procedures and accessories that go along with fiber-optic cables. Although installing fiber-optic cables is not difficult, it does have special issues that will be more familiar to people with experience rather than cable installers with experience in with other types of network cables.