Cable gets an air bag

Pirelli Telecom Cables and Systems has introduced a new range of dielectric fibre optic cables offering improved resistance to crush and impact.

Pirelli Telecom Cables and Systems has started the production of a new range of dielectric fibre optic cables offering improved resistance to crush and impact, due to a unique integrated protection system.

The Air Bag cable is based on a composite structure of extruded polymeric materials, each with its own specially-selected mechanical properties.

Designed to replace heavy, rigid metal-armoured cables in situations where damage protection is a major concern, Air Bag cable is claimed to be lighter, more flexible and easier to install than armoured alternatives. What is more, it offers much better resistance to compression and shocks, which can damage or even permanently disable cable performance.

The most important first market for the new cable will be railway-based communications networks, where the traditional practice of laying cables in open trenches or in galleries exposes them to high risk of mechanical damage. Pirelli is already working on a pilot implementation of the Air Bag cable with customers in Austria and Holland, and will be showcasing the new designs to major railways and rail network operators across Europe in coming months.

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