Why Choose an Armored Fiber Optic Cable and How to Find the Right One


So, it's time to install or upgrade your network infrastructure. You may have heard about armored fiber optic cables and are wondering what they are, if you need them, and where to buy them. In this guide, we’ll discuss the basics of armored fiber optic cable so that you can make an informed purchase decision.

What Is an Armored Fiber Optic Cable?

An armored fiber optic cable is strong and durable by design, making it ideal for use in harsh environments. The armor is usually made from stainless steel or aluminum, which helps protect the delicate strands of glass inside the cables from external damage.

You’ll tend to find this cable in areas with a significant risk of physical harm, such as industrial settings or locations with extreme weather conditions.

Classifications of Armored Fiber Optic Cable

Armored fiber optic cables come in various sizes, shapes, and construction materials. Generally you can classify them based on their suitable applications and supported modes, which are:

  • Singlemode: If you need to set up a long distance connection, you should use Singlemode cables as these can carry a signal for miles. You can also opt for an OS2 cable, a subclass of Singlemode cables. For instance, Corning Atlos Singlemode OS2 cable uses FastAccess® Technology and water-swelleable materials so that you don’t need to regularly clean the cable.
  • Multimode: Alternatively, Multimode armored fiber optic cables are designed to transmit data over a shorter distance. This cable type best suits local area networks (LANs) or data centers. If you require an indoor cable suitable for a particularly challenging mechanical network, you can use Multimode cables with a flame-retardant jacket and interlocking armor. An interlocking armor provides up to seven times more robust crush protection than you will get from a regular unarmored cable.

An armored fiber cable will also vary based on the jacket materials used and preferred uses:

  • Direct Burial (PE): Direct burial cables are a good option if you need to install cables outside. The armored jacket is made from rugged polyethylene (PE) jacket material, which makes it resistant to rodent infestations and water damage. The Corning Atlos Singlemode OS2 cable we mentioned earlier is also a direct burial cable.
  • Armored Plenum (OFCP): If you need to install the cable in a high fire-risk environment, then Armored Plenum is your best bet. The Corning MIC DX Singlemode plenum cable is an ideal example of this type of cable that offers non-conductive dielectric armor for up to four times more crush protection than unarmored ones.
  • Armored Riser (OFCR): This type of armored fiber optic cable has an outer jacket made of an optical fiber conduit riser (OFCR), giving it superior crush resistance and flame-retardant properties.

The Corning MIC OM4 riser cable is an excellent example of an Armored Riser cable, which is suitable in many situations, including as a horizontal, vertical, or intra-building backbone of up to 550 meters.

Get the Right Customer Support

Once you've chosen the correct type of shielded fiber optic cable for your needs, the next step is to find a reliable supplier. When shopping online, always choose a trusted dealer with good customer support and technical expertise so that you can get help if anything goes wrong.

ShowMeCables offers a big selection of armored fiber optic cable. Most of our 15,000+ items are in-stock and available for same-day shipping. If you have any questions, we would love to hear from you at 1-855-958-3212.