How is Fibre Optic Cable Made?
The process of making fibre optic cable involves a number of steps. These steps include pulling the fiber from a blank at speeds of up to 66 feet per second (20 m/s) and wrapping it onto a spool. A single spool can hold miles of optical fiber. It is then sold to cable, telephone, and network providers. Today, most companies have switched over to fiber-optic systems to boost speed, capacity, and clarity.
Techniques of vapor deposition
One of the techniques used for fibre optic cable fabrication is vapor deposition. This method uses a highly controlled gas mixture to deposit layers of silicon dioxide onto a hollow rod. The gases are then passed through the rod in a series of heat-treating steps, and as the layers are added, they solidify into a solid preform. This preform can then be drawn into a fibre. The process also allows the manufacturer to vary the composition of the deposited layer, such as the thickness and viscosity.
This method is ideal for producing high-quality, low-loss optical fibre. It is also inexpensive, and can produce large-core diameter optical fibres with high numerical apertures. It is also suitable for mass-production.
Glass or plastic core
There are two common choices for a fibre optic cable: glass or plastic. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. A glass fibre is the more delicate type, while a plastic one is more robust and resistant to breaking or stretching. While glass is the preferred choice for most applications, it is not the only one. Plastic optical fiber can also be used in hostile environments.
The core of a fibre is usually made of ultra-pure glass, but some are made entirely of plastic. There are also hybrid versions with a glass core and a plastic cladding. The core material should have a higher refractive index than the cladding. This difference will determine the numerical aperture of the fibre.
Coated glass fibers
Coated glass fibers are strands of glass that are a common component of fibre optic cable. The coatings are applied to the glass in two ways. First, the glass is melted at a high temperature. This process creates a very thin strand of glass, measuring about a micron thick, which is then used as the core of the fibre. The second process is called sintering, which turns the glass into a smooth, non-porous strand, or optical fiber blank. This process can yield up to 5 kilometers of glass fiber.
The glass is coated with a polymer that reduces the loss of light. This coating makes it possible to transmit the light signal without loss. Since lightwaves travel through different materials, they are bent and bounced. This allows the light signal to travel through the fibre without loss of quality or data.
Number of fibers
There are several factors that determine the number of fibers in a fibre optic cable. One factor is the number of lanes or channels on a cable. Another factor is the type of installation. Generally, a single strand of fibre optic cable has about three lanes while a multimode cable has about four lanes and up to twelve lanes.
The length of a fibre optic cable is measured in kilometers or miles. A cable that has one thousand miles of fibers would equal 600 million miles. The distance between two fibers can be measured by measuring the distance from one end to the other.