Optical Fiber Cable Applications

Superabsorbents for Optical Fiber Cable Applications

Superabsorbent polymers (SAP) are commonly used to protect outside plant optical fiber cables from water penetration and can be applied in various forms in different sections of the cable, such as:  

  • Over the central strength member, under the stranded buffer tubes 
  • Within the buffer tube core 
  • Over the buffer tubes, under the metallic shield (if part of the design) 
  • Over the metallic shield, under the outer sheath 

The waterblocking functionality of SAP can be provided by direct application of powder or swellable hot melt adhesives, or by application of various substrates containing the SAP in either powder, liquid, or hot melt form. 

 Zappa Stewart has supported the power cable industry, as its most trusted supplier of SAP for over 20 years, by providing superior products and customer service. 

Features & Benefits

Dynamic water blocking capability  Less weight, lower cable OD (compared to gel filled cables) 
Fast swelling speed  Eliminates bio-hazard spills
Solid gel strength  Faster splicing and/or restoration
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Superabsorbent Powders

Superabsorbent Polymers in Powder Form (SAP) have been used for decades to provide water blocking functionality required for under-ground and under-water cable application.  Some characteristics include:

  • Variety of particle size distribution available
  • Applied using dusting electro-static deposition and other methods
  • Custom blends with other components available

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Superabsorbent Liquids

Superabsorbent liquids are used to apply with other cable components such as water-blocking yarns, tapes, and strings members. Some characteristics include:

  • Ease of application
  • Improves housekeeping (reduces dusting)

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Superabsorbent Hot-Melt

Water-soluble hot melt adhesives containing superabsorbent powders for applications directly on to various cable components.  Some characteristics include:

  • Adhesion functionality
  • Improves housekeeping (reduces dusting)
  • Very clean and controlled deposition
  • Available in tacky and non-tacky finish

Learn more.

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