Armored fiber optic cable, as the name suggests, refers to optical cable that has armors. When working in severe environments, it is important to keep your cables from outside damage to ensure they can operate safely and smoothly. And this is where the so-called armored fiber optic cables come into play, which are mainly adopted to protect the cables from being eaten by rats and dampened by moisture.
The internal structure of armored fiber optic cable consists of many layers to prevent the cable from damage. The outer jacket provides protection against rodent, abrasion and twist, which is usually made of plastic. And the armoring materials are mainly come from kevlar, steel, and aluminum foils, aiming to protect the armored cable from being stretched during installation. And the light steel tube is placed between the optical fiber and the armoring materials as the picture shows.
Armored optical fiber has important applications in direct buried outside plant where a strong armored fiber optic cable is needed to resist rodent and withstand hazardous environments such as crush loads in rocky soil. Another important role of armored fiber optic cable is in data centers, where it is usually adopted for general network management in the engine room to build internal connections. The length of armored fiber for such application is relatively short, so it is often referred to as the armored jumper. For general armored jump line, there is a layer of mental armored in its skin to protect the fiber core inside, strengthen its tensile resistance and prevent it from being eaten by rats.
When it comes to armored fiber optic cable, there tends to be a very big confusion among people. Most of them think that armored fiber optic cables just refer to cables that have mental protection. Well, this is a misunderstanding. First, it is important for us to know that armoring is a technique adopted to strengthen the cable and protect it from outside damage. The armoring material doesn’t have to be metal, it can be fiber yarn, glass yarn, polyethylene etc. The only thing that distinguishes armored fiber optic cable from the unarmored cable is that the former has an additional outer protective layer for optical cable. The armored cable tends to be expensive than unarmored cable, while the armored cable with steel strip and aluminum is much cheaper than armored cable with Kevlar, which is usually used for special occasions.
According to its using premises, armored cable can be classified into indoor armored cable and outdoor armored cable.
The indoor armored optical cable is divided into single-armored cable and double armored cable. Single-armored fiber refers to optical cable that without stainless woven wire, while the double armored cable means optical cable that is equipped with both stainless steel hose and stainless woven wire. The inner structure of a single-core indoor armored cable can be seen as follow: Tight fiber+ kevlar (for the purpose of tensile resistance) + stainless steel hose (for compression, bending and rodent resistance ) + stainless steel woven wire (for torsion resistance) + outer sheath (usually made from fire-retardant PVC, and LSZH, Teflon, silicone tube, etc according to different functions).
Advantages: high tensile resistance, high compressive strength and rodent resistance; able to handle the damage from improper torsion and bending; simple construction and operation, low maintenance cost; adaptable to harsh environments and artificial damage.
Disadvantages: a heavier weight and higher price than common fiber optic cable.
The outdoor armored optical cable is divided into light armored and heavy armored cable. Light armored cable comes with steel strip and aluminum, which functions to strengthen the cable and prevent it from being bitten by rodent animals. Heavy armored cable is wrapped in a circle of steel wire, which is often deployed in riverbed and seafloor. Generally speaking, light armored cable with steel strip is recommended for its cheaper price and durable quality.
According to the material of metal armor, armored fiber optic cable can also be divided into steel armored cable and aluminum armored cable. They are bolt-shaped and surrounded by a circle of mental armor to protect the fiber core. With the advantages of natural torsion, high-pressure resistance, and good tensile strength, the armored cable can provide excellent protection for optical cables.
Armored optical fiber can be regarded as a kind of strengthened cable, which is harder and stronger than standard optical cable. For aerial fiber optic cable, it often happens the occasion that people may hit the optical cables by mistake when shooting birds. For cases like this, armored fiber optic cables are usually adopted to protect the fiber core. With an unparalleled protection against physical damage without sacrificing flexibility or functionality within fiber networks, armored optical cable is a perfect addition to any fiber network in hazardous environments.