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Cables in Wet Environments

Speaker Bio: Brian Marchant, Test Engineer, Berk-Tek (Pennsylvania, USA)

Abstract: Industrial environments and outdoor installations can also be wet or damp locations. Category communications cable products that are installed in these environments must be able to operate without issue when installed. The typical tests that are used to evaluate these products determine if water can enter the connectors or if water can propagate down the cable core. Unlike these typical tests, this investigation will focus on tests which evaluate electrical performance of cables that are in water. This will improve understanding of the full effect of wet or damp locations on structured cabling.

The high-frequency performance of an unshielded cable may be affected when the environment of the cable is water rather than air. This effect is mitigated by jacket design and shielding. Also, stranded conductors in humid environments might wick moisture into the cable, which could cause failures. Some connectors for industrial environments are designed to avoid this. By studying the effect of water and humidity on the cable, installation recommendations can be formed for twisted pair Ethernet cables in wet locations.

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