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Development of Material Solutions for 5G and Dense Fiber Networks

Speaker Bio: Dr. Paul Brigandi, Application Technology Leader, Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics Wire & Cable

Abstract: The demand for increased bandwidth, faster speeds, and lower latency to support technology evolutions such as 5G, cloud computing, and the internet of things requires reliable and high performing communications infrastructure. New cable designs coupled with material solutions enables increased fiber density, smaller diameters, superior protection, and ease of installation. For fiber to the “x” (FTTx) networks there is a shift to ultra-high density mini- and micro- fiber optic cables which are commonly deployed by air jetting into installed microducts. Material developments are critical to advance the overall system reliability, performance, ease of installation, and to lower life cycle costs, and should take into consideration the interaction of the microduct with the fiber optic cable jacket.

This paper presents the performance attributes of an innovative family of high density polyethylene (HDPE) fiber optic jacket compounds offering an optimal balance of properties designed for mini- and micro cables. Advantages include low shrinkage, easy processing, high stiffness, low coefficient of friction (COF) for longer jetting distances, and laser printability for improved identification. A unique, complementary bimodal HDPE was developed for microduct applications to enable high performance in extreme temperatures, long service life, and toughness with thinner wall thickness, and processing ease.

About the Presenter: Dr. Paul Brigandi is Application Technology Leader for Dow Packaging & Specialty Plastics Wire & Cable business in North America based in Collegeville, PA. Paul has experience in the power transmission and distribution as well as telecommunication markets focused on research and development of new insulation, jacket, conductive composites, and polymer modifier material developments. His technical expertise includes formulation and processing of polyolefins, elastomers, and polymer composites.

Paul is active in several industry organizations including Insulated Conductors Committee, Communications Cable and Connectivity Association, and Fiber Broadband Association technical committees. He also serves as 1st Vice President and on the Board of Directors of the Society of Plastics Engineers Palisades Mid-Atlantic Section. Paul earned a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from Lehigh University and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware. He is also an active Adjunct Professor at Lehigh University in the Material Science & Engineering department.

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