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Patent Analysis of

Flat drop cable with features for enhancing stripability

Updated Time 12 June 2019

Patent Registration Data

Publication Number

US10151899

Application Number

US15/113713

Application Date

22 January 2014

Publication Date

11 December 2018

Current Assignee

TYCO ELECTRONICS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD.,COMMSCOPE TECHNOLOGIES LLC,ADC COMMUNICATIONS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD.,COMMSCOPE TELECOMMUNICATIONS (SHANGHAI) CO., LTD.

Original Assignee (Applicant)

ADC TELECOMMUNICATION, INC.,ADC COMMINICATIONS (AUSTRALIA) PTY LTD.,TYCO ELECTRONICS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD.,TYCO ELECTRONICS (SHANGHAI) CO., LTD.

International Classification

G02B6/44,G02B6/245

Cooperative Classification

G02B6/4495,G02B6/4402,G02B6/4494,G02B6/4432,G02B6/4433

Inventor

FAHD, ALY,KACHMAR, WAYNE M.,DICK, STEVEN JAMES,HUBBARD, PAUL DAVID,FU, WEI,XU, DONG

Patent Images

This patent contains figures and images illustrating the invention and its embodiment.

US10151899 Flat drop cable features 1 US10151899 Flat drop cable features 2 US10151899 Flat drop cable features 3
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Abstract

A flat drop cable has notches or other structures for enhancing the stripability of the jacket from the a core of the flat drop cable. The notches can have an angled configuration with surfaces that converge as the notch extends into the jacket. Inner edges of the notches can be positioned along a tear path that intersects the core of the flat drop cable. For example, the notches can be offset from a minor axis of the flat drop cable a sufficient distance such that the notches are positioned outside a central boundary region that extends tangent to sides of the core and parallel to the minor axis of the flat drop cable.

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Claims

1. A fiber optic cable having a central longitudinal axis, the fiber optic cable comprising:

a jacket having a length that extends along the central longitudinal axis of the fiber optic cable, the jacket defining a transverse cross-sectional profile having a thickness and a width, the width extending between opposite rounded ends, the thickness being smaller than the width, the transverse cross- sectional profile of the jacket defining a major axis that extends across the width of the jacket and a minor axis that extends across the thickness of the jacket, the major and minor axes being perpendicular to one another and also being perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis of the fiber optic cable, and the major axis and the minor axis intersecting each other at the central longitudinal axis; a core positioned within the jacket that extends along the central longitudinal axis, the core including at least one optical fiber; strength members positioned within the jacket at opposite ends of the core, the strength members having a cross-dimension that extends along a majority of the thickness of the jacket; a first open-sided notch defined by the jacket that extends along the length of the jacket, the first open-sided notch being positioned at a location offset from the minor axis the first notch being defined by first and second surfaces that are angled relative to each other and that converge as the surfaces extend into the jacket, the first surface extending towards the minor axis and the second surface extending away from the minor axis as they converge; and a second open-sided notch defined by the jacket that extends along the length of the jacket, the second open-sided notch being positioned at a location offset from the minor axis.

2. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein the surfaces meet at an edge.

3. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein each open-sided notch is provided outside of a boundary defined by first and second lines that are tangent to the core and that are perpendicular to the major axis.

4. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein the first and second open-sided notches are arranged so as to both be intersected by a reference plane that is perpendicular to the major axis.

5. The fiber optic cable of claim 4, wherein the first and second open-sided notches have closed sides that define edges, and wherein the edges are aligned with the reference plane that is perpendicular to the major axis.

6. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein the first and second open-sided notches are arranged so as to both be intersected by a diagonal reference plane that intersects the core.

7. The fiber optic cable of claim 6, wherein the first and second open-sided notches have closed sides that define edges, and wherein the edges are aligned with the diagonal reference plane.

8. The fiber optic cable of claim 7, wherein the diagonal reference plane intersects the optical fiber.

9. The fiber optic cable of claim 6, wherein the jacket defines first and second sides separated by the thickness, wherein the first open-sided notch is defined at the first side of the jacket between the minor axis and the first rounded end of the jacket, wherein the second open-sided notch is defined at the second side of the jacket between the minor axis and the second rounded end, wherein a notch is not provided at the first side of the jacket between the minor axis and the second rounded end of the jacket, and wherein a notch is not provided at the second side of the jacket between the minor axis and the first rounded end of the jacket.

10. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein the jacket is tightly extruded about the core.

11. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein the strength members include water swellable material.

12. A fiber optic cable having a central longitudinal axis, the fiber optic cable comprising:

a jacket having a length that extends along the central longitudinal axis of the fiber optic cable, the jacket defining a transverse cross-sectional profile having a thickness and a width, the thickness being smaller than the width, the transverse cross-sectional profile of the jacket defining a major axis that extends across the width of the jacket and a minor axis that extends across the thickness of the jacket, the major and minor axes being perpendicular to one another and also being perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis of the fiber optic cable, the major axis and the minor axis intersecting each other at the central longitudinal axis, the jacket defining first and second sides separated by the thickness and first and second rounded ends separated by the width; a core positioned within the jacket that extends along the central longitudinal axis, the core including at least one optical fiber; strength members positioned within the jacket at opposite ends of the core, the strength members having a cross-dimension that extends along a majority of the thickness of the jacket; and a first weakened region that extends into the jacket from the first side of the jacket at a location between the minor axis and the first rounded end of the jacket and a second weakened region that extends into the jacket from the second side of the jacket at a location between the minor axis and the second rounded end of the jacket, the first and second weakened regions including inner portions positioned along a diagonal reference plane that intersects the core, the inner portions of each weakened region including a first surface that extends along the diagonal reference plane towards the minor axis as the respective weakened region extends into the jacket, the first and second weakened regions also each including a second surface that extends at a second diagonal away from the minor axis as the respective weakened region extends into the jacket.

13. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein the diagonal reference plane intersects the optical fiber.

14. The fiber optic cable of claim 13, wherein the diagonal reference plane defines a tear path along which the jacket can be stripped from the core.

15. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein the first and second weakened regions include open-sided notches.

16. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein the first and second surfaces intersect at inner edges that form the inner portions of the first and second weakened regions.

17. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein a weakened region is not provided at the first side of the jacket between the minor axis and the second rounded end of the jacket, and wherein a weakened region is not provided at the second side of the jacket between the minor axis and the first rounded end of the jacket.

18. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein each weakened region is provided outside of a boundary defined by first and second lines that are tangent to the core and that are perpendicular to the major axis.

19. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein the jacket is tightly extruded about the core.

20. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein the core includes an optical fiber and a buffer layer that surrounds the optical fiber.

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Claim Tree

  • 1
    1. A fiber optic cable having
    • a central longitudinal axis, the fiber optic cable comprising: a jacket having a length that extends along the central longitudinal axis of the fiber optic cable, the jacket defining a transverse cross-sectional profile having a thickness and a width, the width extending between opposite rounded ends, the thickness being smaller than the width, the transverse cross- sectional profile of the jacket defining a major axis that extends across the width of the jacket and a minor axis that extends across the thickness of the jacket, the major and minor axes being perpendicular to one another and also being perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis of the fiber optic cable, and the major axis and the minor axis intersecting each other at the central longitudinal axis
    • a core positioned within the jacket that extends along the central longitudinal axis, the core including at least one optical fiber
    • strength members positioned within the jacket at opposite ends of the core, the strength members having a cross-dimension that extends along a majority of the thickness of the jacket
    • a first open-sided notch defined by the jacket that extends along the length of the jacket, the first open-sided notch being positioned at a location offset from the minor axis the first notch being defined by first and second surfaces that are angled relative to each other and that converge as the surfaces extend into the jacket, the first surface extending towards the minor axis and the second surface extending away from the minor axis as they converge
    • and a second open-sided notch defined by the jacket that extends along the length of the jacket, the second open-sided notch being positioned at a location offset from the minor axis.
    • 2. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein
      • the surfaces meet at an edge.
    • 3. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein
      • each open-sided notch is provided outside of a boundary defined by first and second lines that are tangent to the core and that are perpendicular to the major axis.
    • 4. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein
      • the first and second open-sided notches are arranged so as to both be intersected by a reference plane that is perpendicular to the major axis.
    • 6. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein
      • the first and second open-sided notches are arranged so as to both be intersected by a diagonal reference plane that intersects the core.
    • 10. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein
      • the jacket is tightly extruded about the core.
    • 11. The fiber optic cable of claim 1, wherein
      • the strength members include water swellable material.
  • 12
    12. A fiber optic cable having
    • a central longitudinal axis, the fiber optic cable comprising: a jacket having a length that extends along the central longitudinal axis of the fiber optic cable, the jacket defining a transverse cross-sectional profile having a thickness and a width, the thickness being smaller than the width, the transverse cross-sectional profile of the jacket defining a major axis that extends across the width of the jacket and a minor axis that extends across the thickness of the jacket, the major and minor axes being perpendicular to one another and also being perpendicular to the central longitudinal axis of the fiber optic cable, the major axis and the minor axis intersecting each other at the central longitudinal axis, the jacket defining first and second sides separated by the thickness and first and second rounded ends separated by the width
    • a core positioned within the jacket that extends along the central longitudinal axis, the core including at least one optical fiber
    • strength members positioned within the jacket at opposite ends of the core, the strength members having a cross-dimension that extends along a majority of the thickness of the jacket
    • and a first weakened region that extends into the jacket from the first side of the jacket at a location between the minor axis and the first rounded end of the jacket and a second weakened region that extends into the jacket from the second side of the jacket at a location between the minor axis and the second rounded end of the jacket, the first and second weakened regions including inner portions positioned along a diagonal reference plane that intersects the core, the inner portions of each weakened region including a first surface that extends along the diagonal reference plane towards the minor axis as the respective weakened region extends into the jacket, the first and second weakened regions also each including a second surface that extends at a second diagonal away from the minor axis as the respective weakened region extends into the jacket.
    • 13. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein
      • the diagonal reference plane intersects the optical fiber.
    • 15. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein
      • the first and second weakened regions include open-sided notches.
    • 16. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein
      • the first and second surfaces intersect at inner edges that form the inner portions of the first and second weakened regions.
    • 17. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein
      • a weakened region is not provided at the first side of the jacket between the minor axis and the second rounded end of the jacket, and wherein
    • 18. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein
      • each weakened region is provided outside of a boundary defined by first and second lines that are tangent to the core and that are perpendicular to the major axis.
    • 19. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein
      • the jacket is tightly extruded about the core.
    • 20. The fiber optic cable of claim 12, wherein
      • the core includes an optical fiber and a buffer layer that surrounds the optical fiber.
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Description

This application is a National Stage Application of PCT/CN2014/071119, filed 22Jan. 2014 and which application is incorporated herein by reference. To the extent appropriate, a claim of priority is made to the above disclosed application.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to fiber optic cables. More particularly, the present disclosure relates to flat drop cables.

BACKGROUND

A fiber optic cable typically includes: (1) an outer jacket; (2) a core including at least one optical fiber positioned within the jacket; and (3) a plurality of reinforcing members positioned within or incorporated into the core. The optical fiber functions to carry optical signals. A typical optical fiber includes an inner core surrounded by a cladding that is protected by a coating layer. The core can also include a buffer layer that functions to surround and protect the coated optical fiber. In certain examples, the buffer layer can include a tight buffer layer, a semi-type buffer layer, or a loose buffer layer. The reinforcing members of the fiber optic cable add mechanical reinforcement to the fiber optic cable to protect the internal optical fiber against stresses applied to the cable during installation and thereafter. The outer jacket can be configured to protect the optical fiber by preventing the fiber from being exposed to outside elements.

Drop cables used in fiber optic networks can be constructed with jackets each having a flat transverse cross-sectional profile. Such cables typically include at least one central buffer tube containing at least one optical fiber, and reinforcing members such as rods made of glass reinforced epoxy embedded in the jacket on opposite sides of the buffer tube. U.S. Pat. No. 6,542,674 discloses a drop cable of the type described above. Flat drop cables of the type described above are designed to be quite robust. However, as a result of such cables being strong and robust, stripping can be difficult. Improvements are needed in this area.

SUMMARY

One aspect of the present disclosure relates to a flat drop cable having one or more structures for enhancing the stripability of the jacket from the drop cable. In certain examples, the structures for enhancing stripability can include notches. In certain examples, the notches can have an angled configuration with surfaces that converge as the notch extends into the jacket. In certain examples, the flat drop cable can define an elongated transverse cross-sectional profile having a major axis and a minor axis, and one or more notches for enhancing stripability can be offset from the minor axis of the flat drop cable. In certain examples, at least two offset notches are provided at opposite sides of the drop cable with inner edges of the notches being positioned along a plane that intersects an optical fiber of the flat drop cable. In certain examples, the notches are offset from the minor axis a sufficient distance such that the notches are positioned outside a central boundary region defined by spaced lines that are tangent to sides of a core of the fiber optic cable and that are parallel to the minor axis.

A variety of additional aspects will be set forth in the description that follows. These aspects can relate to individual features and to combinations of features. It is to be understood that both the forgoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory only and are not restrictive of the broad concepts upon which the examples disclosed herein are based.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a segment of a flat drop cable in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is a transverse cross-sectional view of the flat drop cable of FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a segment of another flat drop cable in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

FIG. 4 is a transverse cross-sectional view of a further flat drop cable in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view showing a segment of still another flat drop cable in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure; and

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIGS. 1 and 2 show a fiber optic cable 10 in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure. The fiber optic cable 10 includes a jacket 14, a core 20 disposed within the jacket 14, and cable reinforcing members 22 positioned within the jacket 14. The fiber optic cable 10 further includes structures for enhancing the stripability of the jacket 14 relative to the core 20. In the depicted example, such structures can include notches 24, 26 defined within the jacket 14.

The depicted fiber optic cable 10 is shown as a flat drop cable having a length L, a width W, and a thickness T. The fiber optic cable 10 includes a central longitudinal axis 12 that extends along the length L of the fiber optic cable 10. The jacket 14 of the cable 10 has a transverse cross-sectional profile that is elongated such that the width W is larger than the thickness T. The transverse cross-sectional profile of the jacket 14 defines a minor axis 16 that extends along the thickness T and a major axis 18 that extends along the width W. The minor and major axes 16, 18 are perpendicular relative to one another and intersect at the central longitudinal axis 12 of the fiber optic cable 10.

The core 20 of the fiber optic cable 10 is centered generally along the central longitudinal axis 12. The cable reinforcing members 22 are positioned on opposite sides of the minor axis 16. The notches 24, 26 or other structures for enhancing the stripability of the jacket 14 relative to the core 20 are disposed at locations offset from the minor axis 16.

Referring still to FIGS. 1 and 2, the core 20 of the fiber optic cable 10 includes an optical fiber 28 and a buffer layer 30 that surrounds the optical fiber 28. In certain examples, the optical fiber 28 can include a core, a cladding layer surrounding the core, and one or more polymeric coatings surrounding the cladding layer. In certain examples, the buffer layer 30 can include a buffer tube such as a tight buffer tube, a loose buffer tube, or a semi-tight buffer tube. In other examples, the core 20 may include more than one optical fiber 28. In certain examples, the core 20 extends along the entire length L of the fiber optic cable 10.

The cable reinforcing members 22 extend along the length L of the fiber optic cable 10 and are aligned along the minor axis 18 of the transverse cross-sectional profile of the fiber optic cable 10. As described above, the cable reinforcing members 22 are positioned on opposite sides of the minor axis 16 of the transverse cross-sectional profile of the fiber optic cable 10. In certain examples, the cable reinforcing members 22 can be configured to provide the fiber optic cable 10 with both tensile and compressive reinforcement. In certain examples, cable reinforcing members 22 can have a construction that includes epoxy reinforced with fiberglass. In other examples, the cable reinforcing members 22 can include Aramid yarn, metal rods or other structures.

The jacket 14 defines a central passage 32 in which the core 20 is positioned. In certain examples, strength members 34 such as water soluble fiberglass strands can be provided in the central passage 32. In certain examples, the strength members 34 can prevent the core 20 from sticking to or being contacted by the jacket 14. In this way, fiber performance will not be affected by strain applied to the jacket. In certain examples, the jacket 14 includes polyethylene. In certain examples, central passage 32 is larger than the core 20 such that the core is loosely provided within the central passage 32. In certain examples, the strength members 34 assist in centering the core 20 within the central passage 32 and in preventing the core 20 from adhering to the jacket 14 during extrusion. In certain examples, the strength members 34 can include a water soluble material that swells when exposed to water so as to inhibit the intrusion of water along the central passage 32.

The jacket 14 of the fiber optic cable 10 includes opposite top and bottom sides 36, 38 that extend between opposite rounded ends 40, 42. The thickness T of the fiber optic cable 10 extends between the top and bottom sides 36, 38 while the width W of the fiber optic cable 10 extends between the rounded ends 40, 42. In the depicted example, the top and bottom sides 36, 38 are generally parallel and flat.

The notches 24, 26 are provided for facilitating stripping the jacket 14 from the core 20. As shown at FIGS. 1 and 2, the notch 24 is provided at the top side 36 of the jacket 14 and the notch 26 is provided at the bottom side 38 of the jacket 14.

The notches 24, 26 have lengths that extend along the length L of the fiber optic cable 10. Each of the notches 2426 includes an open end 44 positioned at an exterior boundary 46 of the jacket 14 and a closed end 48 within an interior of the jacket 14. In certain examples, the open end 44 has a cross dimension CD that is larger than a corresponding cross dimension of the closed end 48. In one example, closed end 48 is defined by an edge having a cross dimension of essentially zero. In certain examples, the edge extends along the length L of the fiber optic cable 10 and is parallel to the central longitudinal axis 12. In certain examples, each of the notches 24, 26 has an angled or tapered configuration when viewed in transverse cross-section. For example, each of the notches 24, 26 can be defined by surfaces 50, 52 that converge as the surfaces 50, 52 extend in a direction from the open end 44 to the closed end 48. In certain examples, the closed ends 48 are defined by edges 49.

Referring to FIG. 2, the notches 24, 26 are offset from the minor axis 16 and are positioned on opposite sides of the minor axis 16. For example, the notch 24 is positioned between the minor axis 16 and the rounded end 40 of the jacket 14 while the notch 26 is positioned between the minor axis 16 and the rounded end 42 of the jacket 14. In certain examples, the notches 24, 26 are positioned completely outside of a central boundary 56 defined between a first reference plane 58 (depicted in FIG. 2 as a vertical line)and a second reference plane 60 (depicted in FIG. 2 as a vertical line). The first reference plate 58 is positioned on one side of the minor axis 16 and is tangent to the core 20. The second reference plane 60 is positioned on an opposite side of the minor axis 16 and is tangent to the core 20. In the depicted example, the first and second reference planes 58, 60 are perpendicular relative to the major axis 18.

Suitable positioning of the inner edges 49 of the notches 24, 26 can facilitate stripping the jacket 14 from the core 20 and accessing the core 20 after stripping. In certain examples, the edges 49 are positioned along a reference plane P that intersects the core 20. In the depicted example, the reference plane P intersects the edges 49 and also intersects the central longitudinal axis 12 of the core 20. The notches 24, 26 form a tear path aligned along the reference plane P.

For example, in certain implementations, a diagonal tear path is defined between the edges 49 of the notches 24, 26. The diagonal tear path 49 intersects the core 20. In the depicted example, the jacket 14 is provided with only one diagonal tear path.

In certain examples, the notches 24, 26 are laterally offset from one another so that the edges 49 are not positioned along a reference plane that is perpendicular relative to the major axis 18. In the example shown in FIG. 2, only one notch is provided at the top side 36 of the jacket 14 and only one notch is provided at the bottom side 38 of the jacket 14; the notches are provided on opposite sides of the minor axis 16.

In certain examples, the surfaces 50, 52 defining the notches 24, 26 are oriented at oblique angles relative to one another and intersect at edges 49. In certain examples, the edges 49 are offset from the minor axis 16. In certain examples, the edges 49 of the notches 24, 26 are offset on opposite sides of the minor axis 16 from one another.

FIG. 3 shows another fiber optic cable 110 in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure. The fiber optic cable 110 has the same basic configuration as the fiber optic cable 10 except the jacket 14 is tightly extruded about the core 20 and no strength members 34 are provided between the core 20 and the jacket 14.

FIG. 4 illustrates a further fiber optic cable 210 in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure. The fiber optic cable 210 includes top and bottom notches 24, 26 positioned on the same side of the minor axis 16. The notches 24, 26 are aligned along a reference plane 62 that does not intersect the core 20. The reference plane 62 is perpendicular relative to the major axis 18.

FIG. 5 illustrates still another fiber optic cable 310 in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure. The fiber optic cable 310 includes two sets of notches 24, 26 positioned on opposite sides of the minor axis 16. The notches 24, 26 of the first set are positioned along a reference plane 64 that is offset to the left of the minor axis 16 while the notches 24, 26 of the second set of notches is provided along a reference plane 66 that is offset to the right of the minor axis 16. The reference planes 64, 66 do not intersect the core 20 and are perpendicular relative to the major axis 18.

In a further example fiber optic cable in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure, the fiber optic cable includes top and bottom notches positioned on opposite sides of a central boundary defined between a first reference plane and a second reference plane positioned on opposite sides of and tangent to the central passage. In some implementations, the notches, are offset from the central boundary. Each of the notches, has a first side that converges with a second side as the sides extend into the jacket 14. In certain implementations, the second side of each notch, extends generally parallel with the minor axis 16 of the cable. In certain implementations, the second side of each notch, extends generally orthogonal with the major axis 18 of the cable.

The above specification provides examples of how certain inventive aspects may be put into practice.

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Citation

Patents Cited in This Cited by
Title Current Assignee Application Date Publication Date
Optical guides BICC LIMITED 07 April 1978 22 April 1980
防水易撕裂蝶形缆 深圳市特发信息光网科技股份有限公司 23 November 2011 22 August 2012
光纤增强型自承式蝶形光缆 通鼎互联信息股份有限公司 09 March 2012 07 November 2012
Power/Fiber Hybrid Cable COMMSCOPE TECHNOLOGIES LLC 14 May 2014 20 November 2014
Optical guides BICC LIMITED 04 March 1977 16 May 1978
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US10151899 Flat drop cable features 1 US10151899 Flat drop cable features 2 US10151899 Flat drop cable features 3