Is Fiber Optic Cable Fragile? (1989)

By Larry W. Nelson, Executive Vice President Paul A. Wilson, Product Manager, Comm/Scope, Inc.

Communications grade optical fibers are very sensitive to bending, impact and tension. These forces can adversely affect fibers optical performance immediately and can also reduce the expected lifetime through the mechanisms of macro and micro bending. The objective of the cable manufacturer is to "package" those fragile glass fibers in such a way that they will survive the rigors of installation and the installed environment without suffering performance or life expectancy loss. This objective has been far exceeded by today's cable designs and in fact fiber optic cables are "NOT FRAGILE" but are more rugged than coaxial cables used in CATV systems.

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