Firm coat

Published: Thursday 15 August 1996

A group of researchers at a British firm, Owens Corning, have developed a new coating technology that can prevent water from damaging sensitive optical fibres in telecommunication cables. Water is known to corrode optical fibres, leading to decreased signal strength and complete failure. The new 'AquaBlok' coating technology is a dry solution -- a super-absorbant powder. While the cable is being jacketed, the reinforcement carrying the powder is wrapped helically around the cable core of optical fibres. If water enters the cable, the coating swells to its maximum absorption level, sealing off the damaged areas.

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