What Are the Three Components of a Fiber Optic Cable?

What Are the Three Components of a Fiber Optic Cable?

The three basic components of a fiber optic cable are the core, cladding, and outer coating. You should know the difference between them so that you can choose the right one for your needs. Let’s start by discussing the cladding, which is a less pure layer of glass. This acts as a reflector, keeping light from escaping the core. This helps preserve the integrity of data. The outer coating, or cable jacket, protects the fiber from scratches and helps organize the fibers. It is generally color-coded.


The core of a fiber optic cable is the central piece of the cable. This is surrounded by cladding, which has a slightly lower refraction index than the core. The cladding protects the core and prevents the light from escaping through the sides. The outermost layer is usually a plastic sheath.

Cores are made from glass, plastic, or a combination of these materials. The core is a glass or plastic strand that transmits light through the cable. Optical cable cores must be as pure as possible because any impurities can distort the signal. The core is enclosed in a glass cladding or PVC sheath to improve its strength. Some cables may also contain metal fibers to improve their strength.

The diameter and radius of a fiber play a critical role in determining how much light can be transmitted through it. For example, a 0.1% change in core diameter will result in 10 dB loss per kilometer, so it is essential to keep manufacturing tolerances close to the required level.


The cladding on a fiber optic cable is a thin layer of material around the core, where light propagates. Some cladding is all plastic, while others are made of glass. In any case, the cladding is intended to have a lower refractive index than the core, preventing light from escaping through the sidewalls.

Cladding is also used to reduce the spread of light and information. The core of a fiber optic cable is made from a glass fiber with a 125 micron (0.005 in) diameter and is coated with a plastic buffer. These materials are highly durable and are commonly used in communication systems.

The cladding on a fiber optic cable is a protective layer that protects the fiber from damage during installation or handling. It helps to absorb shocks and helps the fiber bend without breaking. Some claddings also contain strengthening fibers that protect the core from crushing forces during installation. These fibers may be made of Kevlar(r) or wire strands or be protected with gel-filled sleeves. In addition, light-absorbing glass can be added between fibers to reduce cross-talk.

Outer coating

A fiber optic cable has two main components: the core and the outer coating. The core contains the light-transmitting material, and the outer coating is typically made from the same material, but has a lower index of refraction. The lower index causes total internal reflection, which prevents light from escaping through the sidewalls.

The outer coating of fiber optic cable has several advantages. First, it extends the life of the fiber. Second, it protects the fiber against mechanical stresses. Third, it provides good chemical and thermal resistance. Finally, it’s a zero-halogen material, which makes it suitable for high-stress environments.

The outer coating of fiber optic cable is used to protect the fiber from damage. The outer coating is usually made of a polymer with a thickness of 250 mm. In addition, the cladding protects the fiber from moisture and extreme bending, which prevents it from deterioration.

Cable jacket

Fiber optic cable jackets are usually colored in order to identify the type of cable. Single mode cables are usually yellow, and multimode cables are orange. Newer grades of cables are required to support higher bandwidth and more complicated data transfer methods such as 10-Gigabit Ethernet. These newer cables also have higher fire resistance, and can withstand temperatures up to 1200°F.

Cable jackets can be made of different materials. Some types are simple plastic extrusions, while others have multiple layers. They may also be UV-resistant, and protected against sunlight. Because fiber optic cables are installed in non-watertight piping, it is essential to choose a jacket that won’t allow water to get to the wires.

To access the fibers inside a fiber optic cable, you must remove its outer jacket. To do so, you can use a cable jacket peeler or mid access tool. These tools can help you remove the jacket without damaging the fibers.