OptiTuff fiber cables stand up to extreme duress

Aug. 30, 2021
The product line from Belden can withstand impact from a data center tile, a staple gun, and even a forklift.

Fiber solutions are becoming increasingly popular to support a wide variety of applications, such as raised floors in data centers, as well as in FTTx and POL/PON applications.

Before the creation of OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable, the applications mentioned above were constrained by existing fiber cable configurations … with the possibility of sacrificing performance in order to get the cable into place. As a result, integrators and installers were looking for a lighter-weight, smaller-diameter fiber cable that was cost-effective and fast and easy to install but also featured superior mechanical properties similar to metallic armored products.

This feedback inspired Belden to create its revolutionary, one-of-a-kind OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable. It utilizes advanced, ruggedized thermoplastic material as a cost-effective, top-quality alternative to traditional metal armored cable.  Compared to non-armored fiber cables, the patented, all-dielectric armor provides superior durability and crush resistance, making OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable one of the most versatile fiber cables on the market.

The cable is also designed to put up with a lot, bouncing back after being under very heavy weight—something a traditional metallic armored cable couldn’t do. It’s strong enough to stand on its own and doesn’t need conduit for protection.

To test this, we dropped a 31-pound data center tile on top of the cable (waffle side down). The cable isn’t crushed, and testers verified that it continued to work and look just like it did before the tile was dropped.

We also drove a forklift over the cable, since we know this sometimes happens on jobsites. The average forklift weighs about 9,000 pounds, but the OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable handled the challenge with no problem.

Our final test was to tightly staple the cable to a wall. In many cases, stapling would crush a fiber cable, but the OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable isn’t impacted by the pressure from the staples.

Making the cable even more unique is the fact that this “toughness” doesn’t impede its flexibility. The cable is more flexible than metallic armored cable, making it easier to install and handle. Its small bend radius handles tight and challenging turns. Through it all, OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable maintains excellent mechanical properties while being more flexible and easier to handle and install than metal armored cable—with no grounding or conduit required.

This distinctive set of characteristics makes it an optimal solution for projects requiring easy-to-install fiber, including small spaces, raceways or environments with lots of tight and challenging turns.

OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable benefits as compared to metallic armored products:

•Smaller diameter supports space savings in high-density installations

•Lighter weight and anti-kink properties make pulling fast and easy

•High crush resistance and durability eliminate the need for conduit and maintain reliability

•Increased flexibility compared to metal armored cables

•Cost-effective alternative to traditional metal armored fiber

•No grounding kit necessary, resulting in material and labor cost savings

Features unique to OptiTuff Mini Fiber Cable:

•90% lighter than metal armored cable

•70% smaller OD vs metal armored cable and 50% smaller OD vs non-armored cable

•Small bend radius for high-density raceway or tray installation (3 times smaller than non-armored; 9 times smaller than metal armor)

•Rugged enough to be stapled to walls

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