So, what’s really going on inside? That’s the question many Primus Cable customers want to know with fiber optic cables. These cables are capable of carrying high volumes of data over long distances. They’ve supplanted copper cables in terms of performance, reliability and value. To understand their significance, it helps to take a peek inside. Starting from the center and working our way outside, let’s explore the anatomy of a fiber optic cable.

The Anatomy of Fiber Optic Cables

The Anatomy of Fiber Optic Cables

A standard fiber optic cable is comprised of four specific parts:

  • Core – A fiber optic’s center is made of glass, and this tube carries the cable’s light signals. Depending on the type of fiber optic cable (single mode or multi mode), the core varies in size. Single mode fibers consist of a tiny glass core that typically has a diameter between 8.3 and 10 microns. This type of cable is usually installed for transferring high speed data over long distances. For multi mode fibers, the core is larger. Their core size ranges from 5 to 7 times larger than single mode cores. With a diameter ranging between 50 to 62.5 microns, multi mode fiber optic cables are perfect for high data applications. Multi mode cables are typically used over shorter distances than single mode fiber optic cables.
  •  Cladding layer –Also constructed of glass, this “core cover” is used to keep the light in the core. When transmitting data (especially over long distances), light rays can reflect off each other and travel in different directions. The cladding keeps those signals straight.
  • Buffer – Also called the buffer coating, this sleeve protects the core and cladding from foreign material (FM) such as outside light, moisture, dirt and other substances. More often than not, the buffer is made of plastic.
  • Jacket – The fiber optic’s cable exterior is typically made of tough, durable polyurethane. Its job is to protect the overall integrity of the fiber optic cable. The jacket is the first line of defense in a fiber optic cable. Routing cables can put stresses on a fiber optic cable (kinks, knots, etc.) and a jacket sometimes contains an extra layer to avoid these potential hazards.

If you’d like to purchase or learn more about fiber optic cables, feel free to the customer service team at Primus Cable at 951-824-1571.