Fiber Structures
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Why Choose Polymer Optical Fiber (POF)?
Until recently, Polymer Optical Fiber (POF) only existed for use in small, customized networks and applications. Developments in the past decade have brought enormous growth in this field, and now POF is being used as a solution for data and information transfer in applications where flexiblity, cost, and ease of termination are a concern.

  • Advantages over Silica (Glass) Optical Fiber--Polymer (plastic), has numerous advantages in short-haul applications over glass. First and foremost it is more pliable: consider the ability of Plexiglas™ to warp and bend versus a plate of window glass. POF has a shorter bend radius, and is more resilient to damage and abuse than glass due to its intrinsic material characteristics. It is easier to terminate, polish, and connect as well, which can reduce the cost of installation and maintenance.
  • Advantages over Copper--The primary advantages of POF over copper are increased bandwidth and durability. The increased level of bandwidth expected from media such as the internet and multimedia will soon outgrow the capabilities of copper; POF is a cost effective replacement. Additionally, copper is prone to tapping and is not a secure medium, whereas optical fiber is secure.

Example Applications

  • AUTO--Auto makers are using POF to offer access to digital services and devices. The high-bandwidth capability of POF combined with its rugged physical characteristics make it an ideal choice for this market.
  • AEROSPACE--Another advantage of POF over other data carrying media is its weight. Weight is crucial to any machine that flies--from airliners to space shuttles--which makes POF well suited to the aerospace industry. Replacing heavy, bandwidth-limited copper wires with high-speed, feather light plastic can offer not only increased payload capacity but also increased data traffic to travelers and pilots.
  • MEDICAL--POF is being applied to various medical applications where cost and flexibility are key design parameters for disposable devices.
  • BEYOND--We see the uses of POF as being yet undiscovered. New materials applied to older technologies always take some time to be embraced, and POF will be no exception. How might you use POF? Click here to learn how you can purchase a POF sample from Paradigm Optics.

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