For underground duct and conduit that is at, or near, capacity with installed cables, an alternative to removing cables in order to free up conduit space is to utilize the extra space by overriding the existing cable in the conduit with MicroDucts.
As fiber cables have shrunk in size, the need for protection has increased. By providing individual chambers or pathways for each fiber cable, networks increase capacity without sacrificing security provided by the rugged durability of HDPE conduit.
Dura-Line is a leader in MicroTechnology future-ready products. MicroTechnology is a term given to smaller conduits (MicroDucts) and smaller fiber cables (MicroCables) used in Inside and Outside Plant Construction (ISP and OSP). It is a natural evolution of standard conduits as space in networks is a premium and as new technologies develop, they typically decrease in size.
MicroDucts were developed as a solution to house fiber cables that were smaller in size, but still carried significant capacity. MicroDuct pathway systems are rugged, but flexible, and available in multiple sizes and configurations. MicroDucts (DuraMicro) and FuturePath (DuraMulti) are small diameter conduits ranging from 5-20mm Outer Diameter that provide a pathway for fiber cables.
Today, MicroCables range from 6 to 432-fiber counts. The glass fibers are the same type as those used in traditional fiber cables, only the cable design has been altered to reduce the diameter of the cable sheath and support system.
Using MicroDucts to Override an existing cable in an existing pathway maximizes space at a minimal cost. No major construction is needed, and work can be done from the safety of handholes.
Innerducts, or subdividing of larger empty conduits or ducts, should be considered in situations where there is a limited number of additional conduits/ducts to meet current or future optical fiber expansion, or where there may be specific permitting issues regarding additional optical fiber capacity.
To create fiber density, MicroDucts can be installed into existing larger conduits, typically 2” or larger. MicroDucts can be placed into the larger conduits but must be placed in one installation. Different colors of MicroDucts can be used for easy identification. At access points, join individual MicroDucts with Dura-Line’s MicroCouplers, which create an air- and water-tight seal, perfect for air-jetting fiber cables.
For larger conduits, the use of FuturePath is more practical. Single or multiple FuturePath bundles in similar or differing tube-count configurations can be pulled in using conventional pulling hardware, including swivels, wire mesh grips, and staggered wire rope slings.
When it comes to calculating additional capacity, careful consideration has to be given regarding the size and number of additional ducts that can be installed in an empty conduit or duct. The general rule is not to exceed 70 percent fill ratio (bundle OD divided by conduit or duct ID x 100).
When you allow a little extra room for new cables in your plans, you create the opportunity for easy growth. Dura-Line’s FuturePath products are two or more MicroDucts bundled under an oversheath, providing multiple ducts in one structure for future expansion of networks. This cutting-edge technology maximizes space and saves the cost of labor for digging for multiple ducts.
FuturePath bypasses short-term cost-based thinking and replaces standard single HDPE conduits with flexibility and scalability. FuturePath utilizes the same 4-inch space that a standard conduit uses but maximizes the number of protected fiber cable pathways.
Without changing installation methods, you can create extra fiber cable pathways for future expansion for pennies per foot. The most expensive part of installing a fiber network is the labor and construction (up to 90 percent of budget). By installing more pathways in the same given space – some currently unused – you incorporate room to grow in your network. A small extra investment today saves thousands in future construction costs.
Reap short-term and long-term return on your infrastructure investments by installing an elegant solution that incorporates flexibility and scalability into the design of the product itself. Dura-Line’s FuturePath products and solutions support safe and efficient telecommunication network installations.