Why You Should Consider This Alternative to Traditional Metal Armored Fiber
It’s no secret that fiber optic solutions are becoming increasingly popular to support a wide variety of technology applications: raised floors in data centers, FTTx and POL/PON networks using fiber are at the top of the list.
While fiber is supposed to help bring these applications to life, sometimes existing fiber cable configurations create constraints instead. Every so often, to get cable into place, performance has to be sacrificed.
Integrators also struggled with installing traditional metal armored fiber because:
- Larger diameters made installation difficult and created space limitations.
- Heavier weight and lack of flexibility made pulling difficult and time-consuming, requiring lots of force
- Grounding kits were necessary, which added to material and labor costs
To better support these types of applications, we knew the industry needed a lighter-weight, smaller-diameter fiber cable that was cost-effective and fast and easy to install. It also needed superior mechanical properties similar to metal armored products. In other words: What installers really needed seemed almost impossible to create.
Because Belden owns its manufacturing process and has amazing in-house experts, we decided to do something about the feedback we heard regarding traditional metal armored fiber cables.
A Cable that’s Worthy of the Hype
Our engineers got to work, and what they designed is something revolutionary: OptiTuff™ Mini Fiber Cable. This cable doesn’t just stand above other cables in its category—it stands alone.
OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cables utilize advanced, ruggedized thermoplastic material as a cost-effective, top-quality alternative to traditional metal armored products.
We knew the claims about this cable would be hard to believe. To make sure it lived up to the hype—withstanding the rigors of installation, not requiring conduit and bouncing back despite being pinched or crushed—we put the cable through the wringer. Three rigorous tests revealed the strength and performance of OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable:
- We dropped a 31-pound data center tile on the cable (waffle side down). The cable wasn’t crushed, and our testing equipment verified that the cable continued to work and look just like it did before the tile was dropped.
- We drove a forklift over the cable since we know this happens on jobsites. The average forklift weighs about 9,000 pounds, but OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable handled the challenge with no problem. Once again, our testing equipment verified that the cable continued to work and look just like it did before the test.
- We tightly stapled the cable to a wall. In many cases, stapling would crush a fiber cable, but OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable isn’t impacted by pressure from staples.
Making the cable even more unique is the fact that its “toughness” doesn’t impede flexibility. It’s more flexible than metal armored cable, making it easy to install and handle. Its small bend radius handles tight and challenging turns. Through it all, OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable maintains excellent mechanical properties—with no grounding or conduit required.
This distinctive set of characteristics makes it an optimal solution for projects that require easy-to-install fiber, including small spaces, raceways or environments with lots of tight and challenging turns—many factors you’ll find in the raised floors, FTTx and POL/PON applications we mentioned earlier.
What You Need to Know About OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable
Compared to non-armored fiber cables, the OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable’s all-dielectric armor provides superior durability and crush resistance, making it one of the most versatile fiber cables on the market.
- A smaller diameter for space savings in high-density installations (up to 70% smaller OD vs metal armored cable and up to 50% smaller OD vs non-armored cable)
- Lighter weight and anti-kink properties that make pulling fast and easy (up to 90% lighter than metal armored cable)
- High crush resistance and durability that maintain reliability and eliminate the need for conduit
- Increased flexibility compared to metal armored cables
- A cost-effective alternative to traditional metal armored fiber
- Material and labor cost savings with the elimination of a grounding kit
- A small bend radius for high-density raceway and tray installation (up to three times smaller than non-armored; up to nine times smaller than metal armor)
Want to learn more about OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cables and where they can be used? Start here!