A bend radius refers to the bend in a cable. Bend radius specifications are a measure of the tolerance of the wire or fibre cabling. The minimum bend radius refers to the lowest radius at which a cable can be bent. So a smaller bend radius means a cable is more flexible. The bend diameter is equal to twice the bend radius. The radius specifications help to protect the integrity of transmissions. Excessive bends in the copper wire can affect the twists and impact performance. Excessive bends in fibre cable can affect signal strength. A bend radius standard of 10 times the cable diameter has been established for fibre optic cables.
Minimum Bend Radius for a Category 5e or 6 Cable
Manufacturers and industry associations have established standards for the minimum bend radius for Cat5e and other types of communications cable. This bend radius will differ according to cable design. The minimum bend radius for Category 6, 5, and 5e cable is four times the cable diameter, or approximately 1 inch. When cabling is bent beyond this specified radius, it can cause transmission failures. Cable manufacturers will normally provide the minimum radius to bend the cable without compromising it during installation and use. These bend radius specifications may be different.
Requirements for Cat6a Bend Radii
Wires and cables are installed around corners or curves and in cable trays. Cables with larger diameters will require a wider bend radius. The broader Cat6a bend radii will take up more space than cables with tighter bends. Plan for extra room in the areas where Cat6a cable will be bent. If a Category 6a bend radius is made smaller than recommended, it could kink or become damaged.