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The Benefits of Using 200 µm Diameter OPGW

Over the years bandwidth demand has grown exponentially, primarily driven by smart grid technologies and grid modernization, increased security requirements, and more recently, remote working conditions. This increased demand as well as the desire to innovate lead to the development of a smaller 200 µm diameter optical fiber.

With a basic single mode fiber design, the acrylate coating cushions and protects the fiber and has a diameter of 250 µm. Advances in fiber manufacturing processes have allowed coatings of fibers to be reduced by 40 percent in size to 200 µm while maintaining the same core and cladding diameters. This allows the 200 µm optical fiber to retain the same properties including bend and sensitivity as the latest 250 µm single mode fibers. This also means there is compatibility with splicing. 

For years, the benefits of 200 µm fiber have been utilized in other cable designs, such as those going underground where space is often at a premium. It's introduction to OPGW is the latest logical application all while remaining IEEE 1138 compliant.

The reduced fiber size allows for higher packing density and smaller fiber optic cables or maintaining the same fiber count with reduced diameter and loading. 200 µm optical fiber can have increases of approximately of 50% to 100% more fiber, allowing for an increase in fiber count in existing OPGW metallic shells. A 250 µm 96 fiber OPGW design would be able to hold 144 200 µm fibers in in the same construction. The same outer diameter maintains the same hardware and loading conditions but with 50% more fiber.

Alternatively for new OPGW designs, 200 µm fiber enables lower weight and diameter while maintaining fiber count. This smaller size offers reduces loading options when necessary without giving up any optical fiber. 

AFL is ready to meet the ever increasing demand for communication bandwidth with new and improved solutions, like OPGW with 200 µm fiber. We look forward to partnering with you on implementing 200 µm optical fiber in your future fiber applications. Contact AFL today to begin designing your next OPGW project. 

Learn more about AFL's OPGW product family here.