From coatings and claddings to jackets and shields, there’s more to a fiber optic cable than just the conductor. Simplex, duplex, single mode, multimode — a fiber optic cable can come with many features. Discover all the possibilities, and find the design that suits you by learning the different types of fiber optic cable Remee offers

A fiber optic cable is made from many more components than simply a glass wire. Cladding, jacketing, and mode type are just a few options that you can configure to meet your specific business requirements, but you won’t be able to find the design that’s right for your application if you don’t know all the available features.
In this guide, we’ll shed some light on what kinds of fiber optic cables exist, what features you’ll need to consider in the design process, and which applications depend most on certain fiber optic cable features.

What Types of Fiber Optic Cables Are There?

There are many different kinds of fiber optic cables, which is why it’s so important to know which features you need. Some common fiber optic cable types include

Plenum cables: These fiber optic cables are laid in the spaces of buildings that can facilitate air circulation. This can be for a variety of systems such as heating and air conditioning systems. These electrical cables are regulated by the National Fire Protection Association. This is because all materials that are placed in plenum spaces meet rigorous fire safety test standards due to the high threat of possible fires.

Patch cords: These optical fiber cables/cords are used to connect two optical or electronic devices to one another for optimal signal routing. An example of this is a telephone, audio, video, and digital signal from network and non-networked applications. Patch cords typically refer to non-networked applications. The two terms are generally synonymous.

Breakout cables: A type of fiber optics cable that is made up of several different fibers. Each of these fibers contains its own jacket and then is enclosed by a single jacket. The fact that the optical fiber cable is individually reinforced allows it to be divided into single fiber lines. This cable is often preferred for a large number of applications.

Distribution cables: These fiber optic cables are considered the most popular indoor fiber optic cable because it’s light in weight and relatively small in size. This fiber optic cable is used to provide cable interconnections between communication facilities.

General-purpose cables: This form of fiber optic cable is mostly used wherever plenum cables are not required. These can easily be customized to meet any specific requirements for general-use fiber optic cables.

There are also other fiber optic cable types, such as Single Mode or Multimode; Loose Tube or Tight Buffer or MicroTube; Simplex or Duplex; and Indoor or Outdoor.

As with any product, designing a fiber optic cable that meets the demands of your industry requires that you know what criteria you must meet. That involves considering multiple factors, so evaluating the most important cable features can help you select the one that fits your industry. Start off with these properties first.

Single Mode or Multimode Fiber Optic Cables?

Mode type is one of the most important factors that dictate the design of your fiber optic cable, as it determines how light is conveyed through each wire. The core in single-mode fiber optic cables is small enough (about 9 micrometers) to confine the light’s travel to a single direction. Typically either 50 or 62.5 micrometers in diameter, the larger core of multimode cables allows the light within them to be transmitted at different angles as it refracts throughout the fiber.

The smaller size of single-mode fiber optic cables allows them to transmit light with fewer losses than multimode cables. They also have potentially unlimited bandwidth. Both of these factors make them a better solution for long-range, high-capacity transmission. Multimode cables are generally more cost-effective to install, given that single-mode hardware is more expensive, so these are frequently used in shorter-range applications like data centers.

Simplex or Duplex Cables?

The direction of transmission can also play a role in the type of fiber optic cable you choose. Fiber optic cables with a simplex design have a transmitter that sends light through the core, where it’s processed by a receiver. This eliminates the possibility of any two-way communication, as data is only sent to the receiver, not sent back from it.

The transmitter-core-receiver arrangement of a simplex cable exists in pairs within a duplex cable, except that the transmitter on one side is linked to the receiver on the other. This allows for two-way communication within the wired pair, which can be more useful in applications where data is relayed back and forth.

Loose-Tube or Tight-Buffered?

The environment in that your fiber optic cable will be used is a critical factor when determining which jacketing type you’ll need. Outdoor applications typically entail harsher environments and fewer bends than indoor applications, which makes them more suited for loose-tube covering, while indoor or underwater uses often require a tight-buffered jacket.

After they’re coated with the necessary cladding, the optical fiber within loose-tube cables is embedded within a solid compound or gel and then covered by a single cable jacket. The solid or gel protects the fibers from any moisture, while the all-encompassing jacket allows for enough room for the fibers to bend somewhat flexibly.

The fibers within tight-buffered cables, however, are individually coated with both a plastic and acrylate layer for a waterproof seal, which makes for a sturdier cable.

At Remee, our Aqualock® cables offer the benefits of loose-tube technology while minimizing some of their drawbacks. Our dry tube technology removes the mess that results when gel-filled cables are cut without compromising on the flexibility and temperature resistance that loose-tube cables provide. We also offer tight-buffered solutions for applications that demand more rigidity, so we can provide both fiber cable types.

Other Optical Fiber Cable Features

Fiber optic cables are complex, so there are many other features to account for. Some of them are:

  • Jacket material
  • Connectors
  • Shielding/armoring
  • Bandwidth
  • Cable length
  • Number of fibers
  • Cladding type

Remee also provides custom cable designs, so other fiber optic components can be engineered to spec as well.

Benefits Of Working With Remee For Custom Fiber Optical Cables

Remees fiber optic cable is cut-to-order. Remee will now cut its standard fiber optic cables to their customer’s desired length. This provides cost savings and extra convenience to cable installers, end users, and more.

Renee cares about quality assurance. Many Remee fiber optic cables are OFNR and OFNP rated. Plus all Remee cable products are manufactured under ISO 9001 certification.

We will provide you with a fiber optic cable that meets all your needs and requirements. It doesn’t matter if it’s simple or complex. We will work with you for a standard or custom order. Our Fiber Optic Design Guide will help you determine the various components you will need to achieve the fiber optic cable you need.

We provide the following unique capabilities:

  • Alternate jacket material and armoring
  • Different shielding configurations
  • Combination of cable types
  • Non-standard colored jackets
  • Dry tube or gel-filled
  • Other requirements you may have

Remee offers personalized service and product selection to our customers. We provide cable samples with a quick turnaround time so you can see our proven performance, and make sure we are the best fit for you.

Connect With Remee for The BestFiber Optic Cable Design

Remee is a leader not just in all sorts of fiber cable types but in other cable applications too. We’re familiar with the latest fiber optic technology trends and have the expertise to guide you through the design process.

Remee’s Fiber Optic Cable Design Guide is available which you can use to create the fiber cable you need by running through a brief checklist of optional types and features.
Our outstanding customer service and expert technical support exceed the expectations of our customers daily. Remee continually delivers high-value and unique customer solutions to our clients.

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Contact us today to find a fiber optic cable that suits your application.