Understanding Common Terms Used By Fiber Optic Cable Suppliers

Talking to fiber optic cable suppliers can sometimes be difficult, particularly if they are using technical terms that can be a challenge to understand. At Traeger Brothers and Associates we recognize that not everyone placing an order is a fiber optic cable expert, so we will always take the time to understand what you need, what your project entails and what requirements you have.

This understanding will allow us to recommend a specific type of fiber optic cable for your application. In many instances, more than one type of fiber optic cable can be considered. If this happens, we will always let you know the advantages and any possible challenges or issues with a particular recommendation.

To help you in dealing with other fiber optic cable suppliers, or just to get to know a bit more about the variances between cables, here are some basic terms and points to consider.

  • Core and cladding – The core is the glass or plastic fiber itself. Cladding is the protective polyimide or polymer layer that surrounds the glass fibers and adds a layer of protection. All types of cladding are carefully selected to avoid changing the optical waveguide properties of the cable. Cladding surrounds each thread, and then a resin buffer is used to protect the bundles or ribbons of tubes.
  • Rigid fiber – this is a fiber optic cable that has a dark glass (light absorbing) between the different threads of the cable. This is designed to prevent the light from transferring between threads.
  • Jacket – the jacket is the external covering of the fiber optic cable. It is lightweight for indoor applications and much stronger and more durable for outdoor. Outdoor applications typically use a loose-tube construction where the fiber bundle is placed into a tube that is semi-rigid in nature. This allows the cable to be stretched along the distance without actually stretching the individual fibers.
  • Dielectric and All-Dialectric – this refers to the metal content of the cable. Some fiber installations require the fiber to be free of metal to prevent grounding and the ability to carry electrical current
  • Armor and jacket- Jackets and armor very from dingle jacket to double jacket as well as single armor and double armored

When considering outdoor cable, always talk to fiber optic cable suppliers about protection from water. This specialized cable is designed with moisture barrier, usually a gel, which is added to the cable bundle.

For any questions, you may have about fiber optic cable, talk to our experts at 305-371-5551. We would be happy to discuss your project and assist you in finding the right fiber optic cable.