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Ribbon Fiber Cables and Loose-tube Cables

Ribbon Fiber Cables and Loose-tube Cables

  • 2021-07-20

Ribbon optical cables provide an ideal choice for deployment in campus, building and data center backbone applications where fiber counts of more than 24 are required. Just like the stranded loose tube cable, ribbon cable offers robust performance as well. However, it is capable of accommodating the maximum fiber density relative to cable diameter. The cable design consists of 12 to 216 fibers organized inside a central tube and a non-flame-retardant jacket material is typically used in outside plant applications.


Loose tube optical cables are widely used for outside plant trunks because they offer exceptional and reliable protection for the fibers under high pulling tensions and can be easily protected from moisture with water-blocking gel or tapes. It typically consists of multiple buffer tubes that contain one to 12 fibers and are stranded around a central member. Contingent upon the deployment location, a non-flame or flame-retardant jacket is applied.




As we all know, stranded loose-tube and ribbon fiber optic cables are staples of the outside plant applications. Both of them perform well in harsh outdoor environments, and both are available in a multitude of configurations, including all dielectric, armored, aerial self-supporting, etc. However, when compared to stranded loose-tube cable designs, the ribbon fiber design offers robust performance equivalent to the stranded loose-tube cable, and provides the maximum fiber density relative to cable diameter. The chief distinction between these cables is the manner in which the individual fibers themselves are packaged and managed within the cable.


Differences:

A ribbon fiber cable has the individual fibers precisely bonded together in a matrix that might encompass as few as four or as many as 24 fibers. In contrast, a loose-tube cable has between 2 to 24 individual fibers housed in multiple buffer tubes with each fiber detached from the other.


Ribbon fiber cable and loose tube fiber cable look different. The Ribbon fiber cable uses a ribbon cable, most of which is flat, while the loose tube fiber cable uses a bundle of optical cables, most of which are round.

Different structure. The Ribbon fiber cable consists of a fiber band, while the loose tube fiber cable is usually composed of a 0.9mm loose casing.

Different optical fiber arrangement. Ribbon fiber jumper inside the fiber is arranged in order of color in a row, banded, and arranged in

It’s the special ribbon fiber design that makes ribbon fiber optic cable offer more advantages over loose-tube designs in many applications.


  • Ribbon fiber optic cable can be prepped and spliced much more rapidly than loose tube cables. That’s means less installation time, less installation labor cost and significantly less emergency restoration time.
  • Ribbon fiber optic cables enable a smaller footprint in splice closures and telecommunications room fiber management.
  • Ribbon cables offer greater packing density in higher fiber counts which enables more efficient use of limited duct space.
  • Ribbon cables are typically very cost competitive in counts above 96 fibers. By using the ribbon fusion splicer, you could have a fast working.



Advantages of Ribbon Optical Cable

In some cases, it is better to adopt ribbon optical cable when the fiber counts hold a key issue. Since mass fusion splicing technology is enabled by ribbon optical cable, it can be spliced much more rapidly than loose tube cables. This advantage allows for less installation time, less installation labor cost, and significantly less emergency restoration time. Besides, It enables a smaller footprint in splice closures and telecommunications room fiber management. Ribbon optical cables offer greater packing density in higher fiber counts which enable more efficient use of limited duct space. And it is typically very cost competitive in counts above 96 fibers.


Advantages of Loose Tube Optical Cable

However, some applications such as fiber-to-the-home, require multiple cable access locations where we pull out only two to eight fibers from a cable for splicing using mid-sheath access techniques. In those instances, ribbon might be less practical for some carriers than conventional loose tube. There are still a few areas where either ribbon or loose-tube is the preferred option. For example, it takes four splices to repair a 48 fiber count ribbon cable compared to 48 splices for the loose-tube equivalent.


Conclusion

To conclude, there is not a single cable that fits all network designs perfectly and thoroughly. But it is essential to know the options and where they fit best, which may contribute to decrease installation time, labor cost, and emergency restoration time. Before choosing the optimum solution for the specific scenario, just remember to take cable costs, splicing costs and labor hours into consideration.


Shinho has the different models of fusion splicer for different cables. kindly contact us for details.



© Derechos de autor: Shanghai Shinho Fiber Communication Co., Ltd. Todos los derechos reservados.

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