Manufacturers have made great efforts to reduce cable diameters through the use of improved manufacturing techniques and enhanced performance materials within the cable construction. This has helped the congestion problem considerably although the lower limits of cable diameter have now realistically been reached.
Now, by reducing to 200 microns the diameter of the fibre itself – the basic building block of any cable – an additional step-change in cable diameter is possible. Agusti Valls, Senior VP of Product Development and Quality for the Prysmian cable business stated: “This opens up tremendous possibilities on the cable design front. For example, with the PrimaLightTM fibre we can now include 16 fibres into a tube element that previously had a limit of 12. Alternatively, smaller tubes can be employed to hold similar fibre counts to those used previously. The effect on overall cable diameter is significant and for very high fibre count designs – commonly deployed in the access networks – overall diameter reductions exceeding 10% are possible.”
Dr Giacomo Roba – who leads the Fibre R & D activity added:
“The 250 micron diameter has, for many years, been the de facto standard. However, with every other aspect of cable and fibre design under review we felt that this particular fibre parameter should be no exception. We are very pleased with the results of the work we have undertaken and we believe that with PrimaLightTM we have made a significant breakthrough which will have far-reaching effects.”
The 200 micron fibre, which has been made possible by use of innovative technology, features an identical glass core – 125 micron – to the traditional 250 micron product, is in full compliance with ITU-T Recommendation G 652 and has satisfied all IEC testing requirements for transmission, mechanical and environmental performance. The relevant technology is covered by patents and patent applications.
PrimaLightTM is currently being introduced into selected Prysmian cable designs and
will be available for use within a broader portfolio of cables during the course of 2006.
Prysmian Cables & Systems
Prysmian Cables & Systems is a worldwide leader in the cable market in both the Telecommunications and Energy sectors. It operates in 5 continents with 52 production units and employs 12,500 people in more than 20 countries. Turnover in 2004 was approx 3.5 billion Euros. In the telecoms sector, Prysmian supplies the industry with a comprehensive portfolio of state-of-the-art products including: Optical Fibre, Optical Cable, Sirocco Blown Fibre System, Copper Cable, Premises/Data Cable and Connectivity Hardware