Fiber Cable Jackets,What’s Right for You?

For different applications, Avantes offers different jacketing material. Standard fiber optic cables and bifurcated cables are protected by a Kevlar reinforced polypropylene inner tubing with PVC red outer jacket. All of our standard reflection probes are protected by a flexible stainless steel jacket with the interlocking profile (BX) or a chrome-plated brass outer jacket, with the hooked profile (ME) for optimal strain relief with silicon or PTFE inner tubing. For waterproof and some medical applications, stainless steel spiral jacketing with glassily and gray outer silicon rubber coating can be provided. Inside this jacket, silicon or PTFE inner tubing is used as well. For heavy industrial environments, we advise the metal stainless steel (-BX) jacketing. It features a tensile strength of 950N. Especially for small, flexible, endoscopic probes, we use a PVC rubber jacketing. Some specifics on the jacketing can be found in the following technical information.

PVC (riser) vs. plenum-rated
PVC cable (also called riser-rated cable even though not all PVC cable is riser-rated) features an outer polyvinyl chloride jacket that gives off toxic fumes when it burns. It can be used for horizontal and vertical runs, but only if the building features a contained ventilation system. Plenum can replace PVC, but PVC cannot be used in plenum spaces.

LSZH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen)—LSZH jacket is free of halogenated materials which can be transformed into toxic and corrosive matte during combustion. LSZH materials are used to make a special cable called LSZH cable. LSZH cables produce little smoke and no toxic halogen compounds when these cables catch fire. Based on the benefits, LSZH cable is a good choice for inner installations.

Plenum-jacketed cables have FEP, such as Teflon®, which emits less toxic fumes when it burns. A plenum is a space within the building designed for the movement of environmental air. In most office buildings, the space above the ceiling is used for the HVAC air return. If cable goes through that space, it must be “plenum-rated.”