Two Commonly Used Patch Cables in Harsh Environments

With the fast growing of telecommunication industry, fiber optic cable jumpers have been increasingly needed in applications, such as data center, local area network and Ethernet network to achieve smooth connectivity between fiber optical equipment. There are various patch cables available on the market, like LC fiber cable or SC patch cable, which can be only used in “safe environments” (environment do not exist moisture or animal biting, etc. ). How about fiber optic patch cables used in harsh environments? The following text will introduce two commonly used patch cables—armored patch cable and waterproof patch cable, that are still able to work well in really tough surroundings.

Armored Fiber Optic Patch Cable


Armored patch cable is a special fiber jumper, which is designed to withstand twisting, kinking, crushing, and to prevent rodent damage in applications where traditional fiber-optic cables may fail during installation and operation. As its name indicates, this patch cable is wrapped by stainless-steel armored flexible tubing inside the outer jacket and is available with single-mode and multimode fiber. Similar to traditional patch cords, this fiber jumper can be also terminated with different connectors, such as SC, LC, ST, and so on.


The outer jacket is usually made of plastics like polyethylene to prevent it from solvents and abrasions. The layer between the outer jacket and inner jacket is strength member which is an armored layer made of materials that are difficult to cut, burn or chew. In addition, this kind of material is able to protect the fiber optic cable from being stretched during cable installation. And the inner jacket is a protective and flame retardant material to support the inner fiber optic cable bundle. The following picture shows the structure of armored patch cable.

armored patch cable


Armored patch cable retains all the features of standard patch cables, but it is much stronger and tougher. Thus it can provide higher durability and longer service life from strong pressure resistance. With armored structure, this patch cable will not get damage even it is stepped by an adult, while the standard patch cable may get distorted and be out of work. Besides, the special structure design also makes it anti-rodent, which means it can be easily used in harsh situations where people no longer worry about animal biting.

Waterproof Fiber Optic Patch Cable

Like the armored patch cable, water-proof patch is also applied in a tough circumstance. It is specially designed for installation where the cable will come in contact with water or moisture, such as aerial, direct buried, or in conduit. Traditional patch cables used in such applications will be out of work, but with a water-proof gel-filled or gel-free (dry gel) polymer, water-proof patch cable can work in good condition. There are generally two types of water-proof patch cable, one is tight-buffer cables (primarily used inside buildings), the other is loose-tube cables (used for OSP and indoor/outdoor).

Two Types of Water-proof Fiber Optic Patch Cable

Tight-buffer Cable—Although most tight-buffered cables are used for indoor application, some of them are designed with water-proof powder and yarn, making them available for indoor/outdoor use. Tight-buffer cable has a two-layer coating. One is the soft plastic that allows deformation and reduces forces endured by the fiber, while the other is the hard outer buffer to provide physical protection. With the use of a buffer attached to the fiber coating, this patch cable is generally smaller than loose-tube cable. Besides, it combines the design requirements of traditional indoor cable and adds moisture protection and sunlight-resistant function to meet the standards for outdoor use.

Loose-tube Cable—Loose tube contains 250 microns fibers which are often surrounded by gel and contained within a central tube or multiple tubes around a central strength member. There is an aramid yarns between the fiber tubes and the outer jacket. The optical gel inside the rugged, abrasion resistant and oversized tube can help protect the fibers from moisture, making the cables ideal for high humidity environments. Generally, loose tube cable can be used for the LAN applications where reliability, attenuation stability over a wide temperature range and low installed cost are the priorities. The following picture shows the structure of tight-buffer and loose-tube cables.

tighe-buffer and loose-tube cables


With more and more patch cables for different applications available on the market, it is essential for us to choose the right patch cables according to the installation locations. In some harsh environment, like high humidity or threats from animal biting, armored patch cable and water-proof patch cable are the ideal solutions. As a professional optical communication products manufacturer and supplier, FS.COM provides plenty of armored patch cables and water-proof patch cables in different specifications according to your requirement. Besides, we also offer a wide variety of traditional patch cables, such as LC fiber optic cable, SC to LC fiber patch cable and ST fiber cable, etc. All products are through a professional inspection to ensure high quality. If you have any need, please kindly visit FS.COM.

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