Wuensch, Guenter; Stöcklein, Waldemar (Corning Cable Systems, Corning Inc., 96465 Neustadt bei Coburg, Austr. 101 Germany)
During the last few years, gel-free stranded loose tube cables have been successfully introduced into the market. These designs have proven to be a cost-effective alternative to the conventional filled cables mainly due to the time saving during cable end preparation. This advantage is even more pronounced in a LAN environment where shorter cable links increase the number of required cable terminations. To further ease the access to the fibers in a LAN, fiber optic cables were developed containing micromodules rather than conventional buffer tubes. Micromodules are fiber units which typically consist of a number of fibers (e.g. 6 to 12) surrounded by a thin polymer sheath which can be easily removed without a special tool. To prevent water from penetrating through these units, they normally were filled with gel. In this paper, the combination of easy fiber access and completely dry user-friendly cable designs is presented. Comprehensive testing showed that all requirements for the installation in a LAN environment can be fulfilled. The gel-free designs increase user friendliness and reduce installation time, thus saving cost.