Unravelling the secrets of optical fiber

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Making high-speed internet a reality

Optical fiber coatings applied to an optical fiber are a critical (yet often overlooked) component of today’s high-speed fiber networks – ensuring the high performance and longevity needed to last for 20-30 years. In fact, there would be no high-speed Internet today without a high-performance fiber coating systems on an optical fiber – and more than 50% of these coating are produced by DSM.

Three key functions of fiber coatings

DSM optical fiber coatings are applied to an optical fiber as a protective coating, delivering three key benefits.

  • dsm-optical-fibers-protection-white-350x350

    Protecting very delicate strands of glass fiber (about the size of a human hair).

  • dsm-optical-fibers-durability-white-350x350

    Allowing fiber to withstand the rigors of deployment in the field.

  • dsm-optical-fibers-signalstrength-white-350x350

    Minimizing signal interruption and distortion.

Optical fiber: thin as a human hair

“Fiber optics (or optical fiber) is the technology associated with the transmission of information as light pulses along a glass or plastic strand or fiber. So how does it work?”

“A fiber optic cable can contain anywhere from a few to several hundred glass fibers, surrounded by another glass layer called cladding. This in turn is surrounded by another layer known as a buffer tube; with a jacket layer acting as the final protective layer for the individual strand.”

“Fiber optics transmit data in the form of light particles - or photons - that pulse through a fiber optic cable. The glass fiber core and the cladding each have a different refractive index that bends incoming light at a certain angle. When light signals are sent through the fiber optic cable, they reflect off the glass fiber core and cladding in a series of zig-zag bounces, via a process called total internal reflection.”

“The light signals travel around 30% slower than the speed of light because of the denser glass layers. To renew or boost the signal throughout its journey, fiber optics transmission sometimes requires repeaters at distant intervals to regenerate the optical signal by converting it to an electrical signal – which in turn processes that electrical signal and retransmits the optical signal. And there you have it!”

Eric Urruti, DSM Vice President of Research & Development  

UV-curable coatings for Telecoms

Whether you’re a cable producer a fiber manufacturer, a network owner or a consumer, our UV-curable coatings for fiber optic telecommunications offer you proven benefits. 

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Could we help you solve your coating challenge?

No matter what the application, substrate or technology, there’s a good chance our team can help you.

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