There is a new generation of optical fiber ribbon cables. These styles use flexible ribbons to improve fiber density by way of a factor of several. Like a bit of good factor, this enhancement includes trade-offs. In this article, we describe these trade-offs to assist you understand regardless of whether this new technologies is a fit for you.

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

Flat ribbons squander space in a barrier pipe, and can concentrate pressures on fibers at the corner of the ribbon stack.

Shape 1. Flat ribbons squander space within a buffer tube, and can concentrate pressures on fibers at a corner of the ribbon pile.

But, flat ribbons use a essential shortcoming. When cabled, a stack of flat ribbons is like a “square peg in a circular hole.” (See Figure 1.) Barrier tubes are generally round, which suggests the space highlighted in yellow is lost. When exterior aspects bring the pile in touch with the pipe wall structure, additionally, it concentrates stresses in the fibers on the edges from the stack.

Versatile ribbons resolve these problems by striking a compromise. The structure that binds the individual fibers together is produced looser, so a flexible type of ribbon can change form without breaking aside. But, it has to still hold together well enough to get dealt with efficiently throughout mass combination splicing. Shape 2 shows a flexible ribbon (top) and a flat ribbon (bottom). Notice how the color sequence of person fibers is maintained inside the flexible ribbon with no fibers being bound firmly set up by a thick coating of matrix material.

In contrast to flat ribbons (base), flexible ribbons (top) have a free structure. This framework fits into circular pipes more effectively.

Figure 2. In contrast to flat ribbons (base), flexible ribbons (top) have a free framework. This structure fits into round tubes better.

Flexible ribbons comply with the space they’re in – no more square pegs in round openings. When versatile ribbons are pressed from the on the inside of a buffer tube, the stress is distributed more than numerous fibers – not just the ones in the corners of a stack. This permits much more fiber to become positioned into the exact same space. Figure 3 demonstrates an 864-count flat ribbon cable (left) together with a 1,728-count versatile ribbon cable television (right). The tubes in the left cable include 144 fibers in flat ribbons. The pipes around the right include 288 fibers in flexible ribbons. Each wires include standard 250-micron fibers and can easily fit in a 1-1/4” duct. Yet, in spite of having two times the tape former, the 1,728-count flexible ribbon cable television is slightly smaller compared to the 864-count with flat ribbons.

A 1,728-count versatile ribbon cable (right) is smaller than a flat ribbon cable television (left) with fifty percent the fiber count.

Figure 3. A 1,728-count flexible ribbon cable television (right) is smaller than a flat ribbon cable television (left) with fifty percent the fiber count.

Could It Be a Match for you personally?

Versatile ribbon cables were originally developed for Super Scale Information Facilities (HSDCs). Most people consider a 1,728-fiber cable television as dimension XXL. But, it is an entrance-level fiber count in numerous HSDCs, in which it’s common to have several this kind of cables entering each developing. These cables usually interconnect structures without having branching, tapering, or mid-span access of the kind. These 2 factors push HSDC cable television designers to prioritize high-fiber denseness more than anything else. If you are not building an HSDC, your goals may differ. So, let us examine 7 differences among versatile and flat ribbon cables that may impact conventional OSP applications.

Difference Top Ribbon Versatility

Flat ribbons will bend on only one plane. Since they are also twisted (to equalize stresses), this can make them more challenging to set up in splice trays. Versatile ribbons don’t have this limitation, and behave nearly like loose fibers. As a result them simpler to organize in splice containers.

Difference #2 Splicing Speed

Mass splicing of flexible ribbon continues to be much faster than individual fiber splicing. But, you need to anticipate some loss of velocity compared to flat ribbons. Simply because versatile ribbons are more freely bound together, they might require more care when being placed in splicing owners. A flat ribbon can be put into the groove of a owner. Exactly the same method can result in misaligned fibers to get a versatile ribbon. Technicians typically “wipe” the fibers of a flexible ribbon having a thumb and directory finger to create the fibers within their appropriate place.

Difference #3 Splicing Resources

Flexible ribbons may connect with your current splicing resources differently than flat ribbons. Any issues are usually solved with a bit of exercise or some new resources. Consider screening some bare ribbon examples before scheduling a period-delicate installation.

Check your overall ribbon owners to find out if they fulfill your expectations when splicing flexible ribbons. Some combination splicer producers offer owners enhanced for splicing versatile ribbons. They may save your time or even be required to steer clear of fiber slippage during warmth stripping.

Some legacy warmth strippers are certainly not hot sufficient to cleanly strip an adaptable ribbon in one pass. Some suppliers have launched new designs with greater temperature configurations to address this matter.

Distinction #4 Cost

Flexible ribbons certainly are a new technologies. There is not as a lot creation capacity, and Optical fiber coloring machine production is much less efficient than conventional flat ribbons. The potential risk of creation scrap also increases with greater fiber matters. So, there is a cost high quality related to flexible ribbons – especially in the highest fiber counts.

Difference #5 Fiber Diameter

Most cablers are utilizing 200-micron fibers for counts of 3,456 and above. You will find splicers for 200-micron ribbons, but they’re relatively 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 versatile ribbon wires with counts of 1,728 or much less will include regular 250-micron fiber.

Difference #6 Cable television Handling

Changing to flexible ribbons may impact the selection of cable television structures. Wires with strength associates a part of their jackets will bend only in one plane, and they are more challenging to coil. They can also be harder to start.1 Check vfiskb your cabler to see what choices are available.

Difference #7 Buffer Tubes

Cable television Outdoors Size (OD) can be decreased through the elimination of buffer pipes. Nevertheless, barrier tubes save time and streamline fiber administration when prepping wires for splice closures. Barrier pipes offer extra fiber cut safety when opening up the cable television coat.


Flexible ribbon cables provide remarkable improvements in fiber density that allow greater than two times the fiber count inside the exact same duct space. If you need to take full advantage of fiber count inside a duct, they may be your best option. Nevertheless, some adaptation is necessary, and there may be time penalties during dealing with and splicing. Possible cable television structures differ a whole lot. So, you ought to explore your choices. For matters of 3,456 or greater, 200-micron fiber is typical, which may need devoted splicing gear.

SZ Stranding Line – Bear This In Mind..

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