Technical Horsepower Consulting Technical Paper:
Evaluation of 200um vs. 250um Coated
Fibers for Non-traditional Cable Designs
As the demands for smaller, more compact optical and hybrid fiber optic cables increase, many cable designers may choose 200um coated fibers versus 250um coated fibers to allow tighter packing density. Existing fiber coating requirements may not provide enough data to properly evaluate the use of 200um fibers in non-traditional designs where fibers encounter materials and surfaces other than extruded polymers. This paper presents additional test methods to evaluate coating sensitivities, allowing cable designers to make informed choices in coatings based on specific parameters tested. Examples include sensitivity to powdered, water-swellable components; post-moisture ingress behavior; and direct contact with various strength member materials. Also explored is the ability of the coating to retain existing performance characteristics. Ultimately, the proposal is to add these test methods to the designer’s toolbox to minimize the number of steps required to successfully design a non-traditional optical micro cable or micro cable component.