Fiber U Free Self Study Programs

Fiber Optic Cable Bend Radius/Diameter MiniCourse 

Bend Radius

MiniCourse: Fiber Optic Cable Bend Radius
Level: Intermediate

Fiber Optic Cable Bend Radius or Diameter MiniCourse

Fiber U MiniCourses are courses on a specific topic that you can take in about an hour or less. They are based on questions people ask FOA all the time, so the topics are recommended by our readers.

Level: Intermediate

Intended For:
Contractors and techs who install, operate and maintain fiber optic cable plants
Designers of fiber optic communications networks
Users of fiber optic communications networks

Objectives: From this self-study program you should learn:
What harm can come to fiber optic cables that are bent too tightly
How bend radius and diameter are defined
How manufacturers specify minimum bend radius or diameter
Where problems typically occur during underground and aerial installation
How to avoid beding problems

You will need a basic understanding of fiber optics, e.g. training and a FOA CFOT certification or at least a familiarity with fiber optic technology.
For an quick, simple overview of fiber optics, you can use one of these three options: 1) the Fiber U self-study program Fiber Optics in Communications and How It Works, 2) the FOA YouTube Videos Fiber Optics and Communications and How To "Talk" Fiber Optics or 3) Lennie Lightwave's Guide To Fiber Optics  

For more comprehensive preparation, see the Fiber U Basic Fiber Optics self-study program or the printed FOA textbook FOA Reference Guide To Fiber Optics.

Fiber U Certificate of Completion
When you finish, you can take an online test on this course to qualify for a "Fiber U Certificate of Completion." The test cost for a Fiber U MiniCourse is $10US.

All fiber optic cables have specifications that must not be exceeded during and after installation to prevent irreparable damage to the cable. This includes pulling tension, minimum bend radius or diameter and crush loads. Installers must understand these specifications and know how to install cables without damaging them. Bending of a fiber optic cable can damage the cable if the curvature of the bend is too small. Damage may not always be obvious, like a kink in the cable, but may include broken fibers, fibers with higher loss due to stress and cable structural damage that may lead to reliability problems. 

Bend Radius or Diameter?
The common term for the curvature of the cable is "bend radius" but sometimes "bend diameter" may be more useful. For example when a cable is bent around a corner, bend radius may be appropriate, but if the cable is used with pulleys or capstans during pulling, then left stored in loops, the diameter of the pulley, capstan or storage loop may be more descriptive. Thus we will define and use both terms.

For this lesson plan you will be instructed to watch the videos, read the references and take a quiz (Test Your Knowledge) to complete the course.

Lesson Plans
Watch the videos, read the section in the FOA Guide and take the quiz. For this course, we recommend watching the videos first and then reading the FOA Guide page on Restoration. There is a short quiz you can use to check your comprehension. The Certificate of Completion test is based on those materials.

FOA Lecture 56, Fiber Optic Cable Bend Radius 

FOA Guide
Fiber Optic Cable Bend Radius or Diameter  

Test Your Comprehension
Fiber Optic Cable Bend Radius Quiz

Fiber U Certificate of  Completion
When you finish all the assignments you can take an online test on this course to qualify for a "Fiber U Certificate of Completion." The test cost is $10US.

Go here to take the Fiber U "Fiber Optic Cable Bend Radius" Certificate of Completion test. Here are detail directions if this is your first time taking a
Fiber U Certificate of Completion exam.

This information is provided by The Fiber Optic Association, Inc. as a benefit to those interested in teaching, designing, manufacturing, selling, installing or using fiber optic communications systems or networks. It is intended to be used as an overview and/or basic guidelines and in no way should be considered to be complete or comprehensive. These guidelines are strictly the opinion of the FOA and the reader is expected to use them as a basis for learning, as a reference and for creating their own documentation, project specifications, etc. Those working with fiber optics in the classroom, laboratory or field should follow all safety rules carefully. The FOA assumes no liability for the use of any of this material.


(C)2020, The Fiber Optic Association, Inc.

FOA Home Page