APRIL 3, 2008 -- Draka Optical Fiber (search for Draka) today announced that its fiber color coating, ColorLockXS, is now available on all of its singlemode optical fiber range, including the Standard Singlemode, Enhanced Singlemode, TeraLight, and BendBrightXS.
ColorLockXS was announced last year as a coating for BendBrightXS, Draka's bend-insensitive fiber that is ideal for Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) installations because it can be bent without compromising the signal. ColorLockXS and BendBrightXS are key cornerstones of Draka XS.Net, a comprehensive FTTH offering unveiled by Draka in February. Now Draka says it is making the benefits of ColorLockXS available to even more customers, for an even wider range of applications.
"Our customers have always given us great feedback on the merits of the ColorLock coating for their applications," reports Phil Edwards, Draka Communications Group president. "The development of ColorLockXS extends its advantages even further. ColorLockXS demonstrates the high level of innovation we are capable of, and it's a major step forward to offer the same value-adding benefits across our extensive singlemode fiber portfolio, from Standard Singlemode Fiber and Enhanced Singlemode Fiber to TeraLight fiber and, of course, BendBrightXS," he says.
ColorLockXS is the latest advance in a story that began with the introduction of ColorLock, explain company representatives. ColorLock and new-generation ColorLockXS use a Draka-patented technology to color the fibers during the manufacturing process, at the drawing step. This means that the standard identification colors are directly integrated inside the fiber coating rather than applied with ink on the coating surface afterwards. The advantage is that colors appear brighter, they are always consistent, and they are guaranteed not to wear or fade, which means they will maintain clarity and vibrancy for as long as the fiber lasts, says Draka.
According to the company, ColorLockXS features:
• A significantly enhanced micro-bending performance;
• Significantly improved stripability;
• Improved resistance to de-lamination; and
• Visibly punchier, more vibrant colors.
Draka says its fiber with ColorLockXS is the only optical fiber in the world that is proof-tested after being colored. The process guarantees true life expectancy of the fiber inside the cable, which is of critical for the end customer.
Draka representatives say ColorLockXS enhances transmission performance; the inner coating is soft and flexible while the outer layer is solid. This enhances flexibility so that the coating can better withstand the pressure and stress placed on the fiber surface inside a cable, referred to as micro-bending distortion. With a ten-fold improvement in tolerance to micro-bending, the ColorLockXS coating protects the optical guide and ensures a higher transmission performance even in difficult conditions, claims the company.
At the same time, the coating is highly resistant to de-lamination, which makes ColorLockXS-coated fibers ideal for aggressive cable designs, such as ribbons and tight-buffered cables.
ColorLockXS offers advantages for installation as well, notes the company. More vibrant colors make it easier to recognize fibers in the typically cramped, poorly-lit conditions, in manholes or in sewer systems for example. Rapid color identification significantly speeds up installation and helps prevent misconnections.
ColorLockXS also features excellent stripability--the coating comes away cleanly from the fiber, without leaving a residue--and it is comfortable to handle. This is a major advantage when it comes to splicing and connecting.