There are multiple fibre optic cable types, and it is important to understand the differences between each one. Each has distinct advantages and will be suited to varying environments, applications, or industries.
Some of the main fibre cable types are explored below:
Glass Fibre Cable
In terms of bend and flex, glass optical fibre is more delicate than its plastic counterparts. This also means that it is more susceptible to damage – especially if it has to loop tightly or be moved continually over its run length. It cannot be cut, repaired, or spliced, which means that it is not suitable for applications where high levels of flexibility are needed.
Despite this, glass fibre optic cables are sturdy and durable in terms of both mechanical strength and overall resistance to chemicals, moisture, fluctuating temperatures, and extreme environments. This makes it well-suited to longer-distance applications where cables are often submerged or buried. Due to the many different fittings, adapters, and configurations available, it is also noted for its versatility.
Glass fibre is regularly used in challenging and longer-distance applications. It often costs more to purchase and install than more economical plastic variations, which also boast greater flexibility and ease of use for most non-specialised applications.
Single-mode and multimode optical fibres are varying cable configuration types. They deliver different potential performance levels at distance.
Single-mode fibre optic cables are comprised of one glass fibre strand with a fairly slim core diameter. Far less internal reflection is involved as light rays pass through it, therefore reducing attenuation and allowing for far higher speed data transfer over longer distances. This configuration is typically used for long-distance signal transmission.
Conversely, multimode cables feature larger cores that guide many modes simultaneously. Multimode fibre cabling significantly increases reflection. This results in higher attenuation and dispersion rates, therefore increasing bandwidth delivery over short distances. Applications needing large data volumes sent over shorter runs (such as communication data in or between a small localised area) typically utilise multimode fibre optic cabling.
Multimode fibre, also known as multi-core, is available in various specifications. Common everyday networking fibre optic cable configurations include two-core options, eight-core varieties, and even twenty-four-core fibre optic cable.Essentially, the bandwidth potential and the ability to cope with higher data throughput over shorter distances is determined by the number of cores the cable carries.