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The Key Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Fiber Optic Cables

The key differences between indoor and outdoor fiber optic cables include their intended use, tensile strength, protective coating and weight
Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Fiber Optic Cable
Table of Contents

We usually use glass core and cladding layer compose to make fiber optic cables.

This allows light signals to be reflected within the core, enabling them to travel through the fiber.

It is bundled together to protect the delicate fiber, covering in a protective jacket and reinforcing with a strength member, creating a fiber optic cable.

Two common types of fiber optic cables are indoor and outdoor, which can fit specific environments.

So what is the key differences between those two types of fiber optic cable? This blog will help you to know.

1.What is Indoor Optical Cable

Indoor fiber optic cable is a cable made up of optical fibers that have been processed into a cable with a protective plastic jacket and sheath. It does not contain any metals and therefore has no recycling value. The cable consists of a certain number of optical fibers that bundle together in a specific way to form the cable core, which then covers with protective sheath. Some indoor fiber optic cables may also have an additional protective layer.

Multi-Core Mini Round Cable

Indoor fiber optic cables can use to transmit light signals and are suitable for connecting network devices within buildings. They are lightweight and economical, but have a lower tensile strength and less protective coating compared to outdoor fiber optic cables. This makes them less suitable for harsh outdoor environments, but ideal for indoor applications where they can provide reliable and efficient communication.

2. What is Outdoor Fiber Optic Cable

Outdoor fiber optic cable use to transmit light signals in harsh outdoor environments and over long distances.

It consists of bundled optical fibers forming the cable core, which is then covered with a protective sheath and jacket. Some outdoor fiber optic cables may also have an additional protective layer and usually armor with a metal layer for extra protection.

outdoor patch cable

The cable does not contain any valuable metals and has few recycling value. Outdoor fiber optic cables have a greater tensile strength and thicker protective coating compared to indoor fiber optic cables, making them more durable in harsh outdoor environments.

Outdoor fiber optic cables primarily use for inter-building and long-distance network connections, as well as for outdoor installations such as direct burial, conduit, aerial and underwater installations. They provide reliable communication over long distances. Also withstand extreme temperatures, moisture and other harsh environmental conditions.

3. Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Fiber Optic Cables

Construction

Indoor cables consist of optical fibers processed into a cable with a protective plastic jacket and sheath, while outdoor cables consist of bundled optical fibers with a protective sheath and jacket, and may be armored with a metal layer.

Intended Use

Indoor cables are designed for use within buildings and to connect network devices, making them suitable for horizontal distribution systems and vertical backbone cabling.

Outdoor cables, on the other hand, design for use in outdoor environments to connect buildings and remote networks, and are suitable for inter-building and long-distance network connections, as well as for direct burial, conduit, aerial and underwater installations.

Tensile Strength

Indoor cables have lower tensile strength than outdoor cables.
Outdoor cables have greater tensile strength than indoor cables.

Protective Coating

Indoor cables have a less protective coating than outdoor cables.
Outdoor cables have a thicker protective coating than indoor cables, and may be armored with a metal layer.

Weight

Indoor cables are lighter than outdoor cables.
Outdoor cables are heavier than indoor cables.

4. Why Are Outdoor Fiber Optic Cables More Expensive Than Indoor Ones?

  1. Different reinforcement materials.
  2. The reinforcement material used in indoor cables is aramid fiber (such as Kevlar), which price is around $5,000 to $6,000 per ton, and each fiber also cover with a 0.9mm protective sheath, making indoor cables relatively expensive.
  3. Outdoor cables reinforce with steel wire or tape, while the fiber is left bare or coat with color. Outdoor cables generally use single-mode fiber, while indoor cables typically use multi-mode fiber.
  4. Single-mode fiber is more cost-effective than multi-mode fiber, which is commonly use in indoor cables, making outdoor cables relatively more expensive.
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