April 13, 2009 -- Draka Communications (search Lightwave for Draka) has announced the availability of a new high-temperature acrylate optical fiber coating. Part of the DrakaElite specialty fiber family, the new coating is engineered to be capable of 150 degrees C continuous operation and up to 200 degrees C short term operation.
Draka has made the coating is available in combination with multimode and singlemode Draka PCVD manufactured optical fibers, including Draka's ultra bend-insensitive singlemode fiber, BendBright-Elite.
The company believes that the temperature performance the coating provides, combined with the handling and strippability of acrylate as well as "premium" micro-bending behavior, will open up the market for new applications, especially in the sensing, aerospace, defense, and security markets.
In addition to increasing resistance to higher temperatures, the formulation is also optimized to offer good performance at low operating temperatures through a soft primary coating, Draka says. The manufacturing process is also tuned to optimize the cost of volume production for a wide range of applications for temperatures beyond the conventional telecom operating range, thus ensuring total application cost control, the company adds.
"What makes this new generation of fiber solutions exciting for industries is that the process provides high temperature safety in combination with the handling benefits and attributes of a standard optical fiber. This means the fiber is ideal for field access, splicing, and connectorization," explains Aurelien Bergonzo, DrakaElite specialty fiber product line manager. "Many existing high-temperature optical fiber coatings are difficult to cable and handle. Draka's new coating solves those problems without sacrificing other fiber parameters."
As well as having unique performance characteristics, fibers with this coating are fully compatible with traditional optical fibers in terms of transmission, connections, splicing, strippability, and installation, thus eliminating the need for specific high temperature accessories, Draka asserts