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There is a new era of optical fiber ribbon cables. These designs use flexible ribbons to boost fiber density with a factor of 2 or more. Like anything good factor, this improvement includes trade-offs. In the following paragraphs, we explain these industry-offs that will help you understand regardless of whether this new technology is a fit for you.

Conventional optical fiber ribbons (or flat ribbons) have long been employed for greater SZ stranding line. Ribbonized fibers are easier to manage in large numbers than free fibers. Flat ribbons can also be mass fusion spliced, which is up to 6 occasions faster than solitary fiber splicing.

Flat ribbons squander space within a barrier tube, and can focus pressures on fibers at the corner of the ribbon pile.

Figure 1. Flat ribbons waste space within a buffer pipe, and can focus stresses on fibers at a corner of the ribbon pile.

But, flat ribbons use a fundamental shortcoming. When cabled, a pile of flat ribbons is like a “square peg in a circular opening.” (See Shape 1.) Barrier pipes are generally round, meaning the space featured in yellowish is wasted. When exterior aspects deliver the stack in touch with the pipe wall structure, in addition, it concentrates stresses on the fibers at the edges of the stack.

Flexible ribbons resolve these issues by stunning a give up. The dwelling that binds the person fibers together is made looser, so a flexible ribbon can change shape without breaking apart. But, it has to still hold together well sufficient to be dealt with effectively during mass fusion splicing. Figure 2 shows a flexible ribbon (top) as well as a flat ribbon (base). Observe just how the colour series of individual fibers is taken care of in the versatile ribbon with no fibers becoming bound tightly set up with a thick layer of matrix materials.

In contrast to flat ribbons (base), flexible ribbons (top) have a free structure. This structure suits circular tubes more efficiently.

Shape 2. Unlike flat ribbons (base), flexible ribbons (top) have a free structure. This structure fits into circular tubes better.

Flexible ribbons conform to the space they are in – no longer square pegs in round openings. When versatile ribbons are pressed up against the inside of a buffer pipe, pressure is distributed more than numerous fibers – not just the ones at the edges of any stack. This permits more fiber to become placed in to the exact same space. Shape 3 shows an 864-count flat ribbon cable television (left) alongside a 1,728-count flexible ribbon cable (right). The tubes in the left cable include 144 fibers in flat ribbons. The pipes on the right contain 288 fibers in versatile ribbons. Each wires include regular 250-micron fibers and can fit in a 1-1/4” duct. Yet, in spite of having two times the cable air wiper, the 1,728-count flexible ribbon cable television is slightly smaller compared to the 864-count with flat ribbons.

A 1,728-count flexible ribbon cable television (right) is small compared to a flat ribbon cable television (left) with fifty percent the fiber count.

Figure 3. A 1,728-count versatile ribbon cable (right) is smaller than a flat ribbon cable (left) with half the fiber count.

Could It Be a Match to suit your needs?

Versatile ribbon cables had been originally developed for Hyper Scale Data Facilities (HSDCs). Most folks imagine a 1,728-fiber cable as size XXL. But, it’s an entrance-level fiber count in lots of HSDCs, where it’s common to have several such cables entering each developing. These cables typically interconnect structures without having branching, tapering, or mid-period accessibility of any kind. These 2 factors push HSDC cable designers to prioritize high-fiber density more than anything else. If you are not developing an HSDC, your goals may be different. So, let’s take a look at 7 distinctions among versatile and flat ribbon wires that may effect traditional OSP programs.

Distinction Top Ribbon Flexibility

Flat ribbons will flex on only one plane. Because they’re also twisted (to equalize pressures), this can make sure they are more complicated to organize in splice containers. Versatile ribbons do not have this restriction, and behave nearly like loose fibers. This will make them simpler to organize in splice containers.

Distinction #2 Splicing Speed

Mass splicing of versatile ribbon continues to be faster than person fiber splicing. But, you need to expect some loss of speed compared to flat ribbons. Because versatile ribbons are definitely more freely sure with each other, they need much more treatment when being positioned in splicing holders. A flat ribbon can be put into the groove of a owner. Exactly the same method can result in misaligned fibers for a flexible ribbon. Technicians typically “wipe” the fibers of a versatile ribbon using a thumb and directory finger to take the fibers into their appropriate place.

Difference #3 Splicing Resources

Flexible ribbons may interact with your current splicing tools differently than flat ribbons. Any issues are usually resolved having a bit of practice or new tools. Think about screening some bare ribbon samples before scheduling a period-sensitive set up.

Check your overall ribbon holders to see if they fulfill your expectations when splicing versatile ribbons. Some fusion splicer manufacturers offer owners enhanced for splicing flexible ribbons. They may save time or even be required to avoid fiber slippage during heat stripping.

Some legacy warmth strippers usually are not hot enough to cleanly strip a flexible type of ribbon in one successfully pass. Some suppliers have launched new designs with greater temperature settings to address this matter.

Distinction #4 Price

Flexible ribbons are a new technologies. There is less a lot creation capability, and FTTH cable production line production is much less efficient than traditional flat ribbons. The potential risk of production scrap also raises with greater fiber matters. So, there is a cost premium connected with flexible ribbons – particularly in the highest fiber matters.

Distinction #5 Fiber Diameter

Most cablers are using 200-micron fibers for counts of three,456 and previously mentioned. There are splicers for 200-micron ribbons, but they are fairly new. If you want to splice onto a legacy cable with 250-micron fibers, you will need a work-about to accomplish it. Fortunately, most flexible ribbon wires with counts of 1,728 or much less will contain standard 250-micron fiber.

Difference #6 Cable television Dealing with

Switching to versatile ribbons may impact your selection of cable television structures. Wires with power members embedded in their jackets will bend only in one plane, and they are more difficult to coil. They can also be harder to open.1 Check vfiskb your cabler to view what alternatives are available.

Distinction #7 Barrier Pipes

Cable Outside Diameter (OD) can be decreased through the elimination of barrier pipes. However, barrier pipes save time and simplify fiber management when prepping cables for splice closures. Barrier tubes offer additional fiber cut safety when opening the cable television coat.


Versatile ribbon wires offer remarkable improvements in fiber denseness that enable a lot more than two times the fiber count inside the exact same duct space. If you need to take full advantage of fiber count in a duct, they may be the best choice. However, some adaptation is needed, there may be time fees and penalties during dealing with and splicing. The accessible cable structures differ a great deal. So, you ought to investigate your options. For matters of three,456 or greater, 200-micron fiber is common, which may require devoted splicing equipment.