November 2018

Fibre optic cables  high-speed connectivity to the cloud

The nation-wide access to fibre optics is one of the hottest topics across the globe. Fast network expansion, efficient urban planning, big data, and digitalisation: these are all key issues in the development of fibre optic networks. Technological innovation is rapidly proceeding and presents a challenge to cable manufacturers.

Governments, network providers and the public sector are working under pressure to provide countries with fast internet connections. Cities and municipal authorities are determined to provide their regions with fibre optic networks as quickly as possible. Alongside network expansion for internet, telephone and digital TV services, the development of other innovative projects are also being planned such as “Smart Home” and “Smart City”, to manage and control systems as intelligent traffic control, city lighting or guidance finding a parking space.

Important condition to achieve these goals is the speed of data transfer. The transfer of data should be almost instantaneously, because big data plays an important role in the actual digital transformation processes.  Consequently, there is no way around utilising an up to date fibre optic infrastructure.

The sheathing of the fibre optic cables plays an important role. The fibre inside requires a stable, reliable sheath to protect it against mechanical damage and humidity in order to retain the specified optical values on the long term. In addition, fibre optic cables have to conform to building safety requirements, e.g. performance in case of fire and the consequences of smoke release.

The sheathing material is therefore one of the important factors in the fibre optic cable construction.

Melos provides a range of compound solutions:

Compound Mecoline S TP 1005 F offers a reliable halogen-free, fire-retardant alternative to PP in “loose tube” applications. This material is particularly suitable due to its low shrinkage properties, high melt strength and relative stiffness (E-modulus).

Other fire-retardant sheathing options, such as compound Mecoline S TP 1006 F (aluminium hydroxide-based) and Mecoline IS TP 1033 F (magnesium hydroxide-based), are also worth considering. Both of these easy processable compounds demonstrate low shrinkage properties.

All sheathing compounds can also be supplied with an additional UV package to withstand 720 hours of UV weathering resistance in compliance with ISO 4892-2.

Especially in critical applications, the use of a bedding compound can improve the flame retardant properties of fibre optic cable. For instance bedding compound FM 0474/5 (LOI 63) will provide a cost-effective boost to fire-resistance.

Cables made with Melos’ low-smoke, halogen-free, fire-retardant sheathing compounds can be installed in (corrugated) pipes, cable trays and cable ducts. Moreover, these cables are also suitable for applications in homes, public buildings and industrial facilities requiring a high degree of flame retardancy.

Made by Melos – to fulfil the highest demands.

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