Sophisticated cable constructions such as the twisting or stranding of wire pairs and conductor bundles place the highest demands on the conductor material to be processed. This is reason enough for copper to have prevailed among the metallic materials in information technology from the very beginning and to this day. Copper is relatively soft, very tough and can be easily formed cold and hot. Only with these properties is it possible to achieve a homogeneous quality over the entire length of the cable, which is a prerequisite for high data rates. In the production of the cable, a copper wire can easily be brought into a desired position. This manufacturing step benefits from the fact that the then prevailing position is maintained without springback. Important aspects are also the contactability as well as the corrosion properties during on-site installation. Although copper oxidises when exposed to air, this oxide layer does not hinder contacting in practice. For the installer, copper has the advantage that a cable core hardly breaks even if it is bent several times in the junction box or at the data distributor. The high conductance of copper makes the application of remote power supply (PoE: Power over Ethernet) possible beyond data transmission.
At the local network level, cables with star quad in particular have also proven themselves for broadband applications with high transmission rates. With ever new technologies (vectoring / > 50 MBit/s, supervectoring / > 250 MBit/s), the transmission rates are surpassing each other. With regard to economic solutions, a sensible combination of fibre optic cable up to the multi-functional housing at the roadside or up to the building and the use of existing copper conductors is being striven for. Experts are already talking about ultra-broadband access (XG-Fast), where speeds of over 10 Gbit/s have run successfully in tests. The “last mile” – network level 3, the section of the line from the cable distribution frame (KVz) to the end distribution frame (EVz) in the building and network level 4, the cabling within the building – is a particularly complex and cost-intensive matter when it comes to expansion.
Today, copper data cables of categories 6/7 are generally used for “structured building cabling”. Due to the pair and bundle shielding, this cable offers high transmission rates and a reliable connection as well as a high level of protection in terms of eavesdropping security. Usually, the so-called patch panel is mounted at a central point in a data distributor housing, in which one end of the data cable is “laid on”. The other end, which leads to a workstation in an office, for example, is contacted in a data socket.
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Electrical engineering and energy
Copper is an excellent electrical conductor. With this highest volume-specific electrical conductivity of all technically common conductor materials, copper reduces energy losses.More