Ball Screws Help Create Fiber-Optic Cable for 5G Communications

Ball Screws Help Create Fiber-Optic Cable for 5G Communications

September 28, 2020

Fundamental ball-screw technology hasn’t changed much since 1929 when Rudolph G. Boehm patented a device he called an “anti-friction” nut. The ability to smoothly and precisely move heavy loads is a key process in a long list of industries. Nowhere is this more evident than in the factories turning out fiber-optic filaments to meet demands stemming from the 5G communications and relying on ball screws to do it.

Wireless carriers are just beginning to roll out 5G communications, but even the most conservative estimates project at least a tenfold speed increase over 4G. This will affect everything from cell phones and laptops to driverless cars.

5G communications is boosting the demand for high-bandwidth fiber optic cable, which requires continuous improvement in making fiber optics. The current process starts with making highly treated, multilayered silicon rods called preforms. These provide the silicon that will be drawn into filaments approximately the width of a human hair and joined with hundreds of similar strands to produce fiber-optic transmission cables that can carry 5G signals.

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Author : Emily


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