Air Blown Fiber Explained

"Air-blown fiber point-to- point infrastructure consists of tube cables, fiber bundles, and blowing, distribution, and termination equipment for unprecedented ease of installation, flexibility, and cost savings for the current and future requirements of your network."

Tube Cables

The Air Blown Fiber system consists of a highway of tube cable that is installed in place of traditional innerduct. The tube cable contains tubes, which provide the vehicle to protect and blow fiber bundles anywhere throughout the network, even hard-to-reach and limited access areas. Tubes can be left empty for future growth or re-routed easily at connection points to change the network configuration. A variety of tube cable styles is available, with versions designed to meet the requirements for use in general purpose, riser, plenum and outdoor applications. The tube cables contain from 1 to 24 individually numbered tubes inside a tough, outer jacket. Tube cable can be run through existing conduit and often can replace the need to install new conduit. The fiber bundle easily glides through the tube at speeds of up to 150 ft per minute for uninterrupted runs of up to 15,000 feet.

Fiber Bundles

Air-Blown Fiber® is available in 2, 4, 6, 12, 18, and 24 (shorter distances only)-fiber configurations and is comprised of either single-mode, 50 µm multimode, or 62.5 µm multimode fibers. Fiber bundles are aerodynamically designed with a foamed polyethylene jacket to enable the fiber to blow easily through tube cable. Air Blown Fiber Air-Blown Fiber uses the same type of glass as conventional fiber optic cables, and it complies with all premise networking media standards. It has been tested to meet TIA/EIA 568 and ICEA 596 and meets UL 1581 (OFN general purpose), UL 1666 (OFNR Riser), and UL 910 (OFNP Plenum) standards. The Air Blown Fiber bundle is typically 1/40th the size of comparable conventional fiber optic cable. With Air-Blown Fiber, there is no pulling force during installation and little chance of damage to the fiber. This method eliminates the need for bulky strength elements, fillers or tensile strength members found in traditional fiber optic cable.

Blowing Equipment

Blowing head is used to blow the compact fiber optic bundles through the tubes on a stream of air or nitrogen gas. Installation is completely stress-free, eliminating the damage that can occur when traditional fiber is pulled through the network.

Distribution Equipment

Tube Distribution Units, or junction boxes, are wall-mounted enclosures or rack-mounted panels used at tube cable transitions or branching locations. Tubes are joined together using push-fit connectors, allowing for the easy and quick splice-free reconfiguration of your fiber pathway between multiple sites within your network.

Fiber Termination Equipment

Fiber Termination Units are wall-mounted or rack-mounted enclosures used to terminate ABF tubes and fiber bundles. They can be used in a variety of locations, including telecommunications closets and hubs, to organize fibers for termination.