Loose-tube-cable meaning

A fiber optic cable configuration involving a semi-rigid hollow plastic tube that houses and protects a number of optical fibers. The fibers can be either individually coated or organized into ribbons coated with protective acrylate and the tube is flooded with a water blocking gel. The tube or tubes are then helically stranded around a dielectric (e.g., fiberglass) or steel central strength member that supports the handing weight of the cable and prevents buckling. There also commonly is an aramid yarn strength member in the cable core.An outer polyethylene jacket surrounds the entire cable. If armoring is required for protection from rodents and other critters, a metallic tape or mesh is formed around the jacket and another jacket is formed to surround the armoring. Loose-tube cable is used in outside plant (OSP) applications, where extremes of temperature, rough handling, and mechanical disturbances make tight buffered cable unsuitable. See also aramid, cable, dielectric, fiberglass, optical fiber, OSP, polyethelene, strength member, tight buffered cable, and water-blocking gel.