A Single Cable for Indoor and Outdoor Applications

The US-based fiber optic product supplier AFL introduces a unique single solution for both indoor and outdoor installation environment. The manufacturer’s LQ-Series I/O Plum Loose tube cable is suitable for inside plant and outside plant deployments. The plenum-rated cable possesses characteristics suitable to meet stringent criteria for indoor as well as outdoor environments.

The maker in a press release says that the LQ-Series I/O Plenum Loose Tube Cable was developed to provide a lower cost inter-building cabling solution for campus-based networks. LQ cable is tested and qualified to meet the leading industry cable standards for the outside plant (OSP) and inside plant (ISP) plenum-rated fiber optic cables and therefore it can be used as a single-cable solution for OSP and ISP cable installations. Since this new cable has characteristics suitable for indoor and outdoor environments, installers do not need to buy two different cables for their projects. One single cable will do the job. Thus buyers can reduce the inventory.

From networks construction point of view, big time and money savings can be achieved by eliminating the need of splicing two cables at Indoor – Outdoor demarkation area. In typical installation scenario, outdoor cable gets terminated in a box from where the indoor cables start its journey to the building.

As per the guidelines of NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) NEC guidelines, the outdoor cables are allowed to only a distance of up to around 15 meters (50 feet) inside the building campus. If the termination point is beyond 15 meters, then the outdoor cable must be placed inside a fire-protected pathway or connected to a separate flame rated indoor cable. With LQ Series cables, you can directly go the building.

LQ series cables come with multiple dry (jelly free) tubes having 12 fibers, stranded over a central strength member and sheathed with flame-retardant, ultra-violet resistant plastic material. AFL offers up to 144F cables in Single-mode and Multimode fiber options. Applications- Inter-building campus backbone connections- installation in OSP buried pathways- Above-ground exposed cable trays- Cable routes that require cables to transit OSP space- Inside plant environments that require cables to be riser or plenum-rated.

What is the Plenum Rating?

Plenum rating is fire resistance classification applicable to the electrical cable as well as fiber optic cables that are laid in the plenum spaces of buildings. The plastics used in the construction of plenum cable are regulated under the National Fire Protection Association standard NFPA 90A: Standard for the Installation of Air Conditioning and Ventilating Systems. Though this standard is introduced and practiced in the United States, many customers worldwide instruct suppliers to comply with the NFPA standards. All materials intended for use on wire and cables to be placed in plenum spaces are designed to meet rigorous fire safety test standards in accordance with NFPA 262 and outlined in NFPA 90A.

Plenum cable is sheathed with a flame-retardant plastic sheath. This can be done with Low-smoke Zero halogen, Low-smoke PVC or fluorinated ethylene polymer (FEP) material.

Author: James

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