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Development of a Low Contraction Jacket Material and Drop Cable Applications

Speaker Bio: Jim Register, Development Associate, Corning Optical Communications (North Carolina, USA)

Abstract: Optical fiber cable design is generally limited by the need to have enough anti-buckling to inhibit contraction of polymeric cable materials. The downside of these anti-buckling elements is that they tend to increase stiffness and may also create a cable with non-preferential bending properties. Options exist to strand the anti-buckling elements at a cost to line speed and productivity. Having a low contraction jacket would enable more flexible outside plant cable solutions that can also be processed more efficiently. Corning has developed a new polyolefin-based jacket material that has significantly improved jacket contraction properties compared to traditional polyethylene jacket materials.

The low contraction jacket has been used to enhance an existing cable design. The application consists of replacing stiff stranded fiberglass yarns that limited line speed with soft aramid yarns that can be processed without stranding. This paper will review the considerations and test data that benefitted from the low contraction jacket solution. Additionally, environmental, mechanical and long-term material compatibility testing are provided. Thus, the new jacket provides the synergistic effects of improved anti-buckling performance, improved bend performance, and improved processing speeds for multiple optical fiber cable constructions.

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