How Does Fiber Splicing Work?
Fiber splicing is the process of joining fibers together. It involves various processes, including mechanical splicing and fusion. These procedures differ in some aspects. Before determining the proper splicing procedure for your fiber, it is essential to know the basics. In this article, we’ll look at two of these methods.
Mechanical fiber splicing is a technique where two or more fibers are joined by using a mechanical splicer. This process is similar to fusion splicing but uses no heat or adhesives. There are a variety of methods, and all of them have their own advantages and disadvantages.
The main advantages of mechanical splicing include its flexibility and ease of use. It is particularly beneficial in applications requiring flexible, quick, and affordable drop cable connectivity. It also eliminates the need for specialized equipment and can be easily and quickly installed. This method of splicing fiber is also less expensive than fusion splicing, and requires lower initial capital investments.
Mechanical fiber splicing can be performed using various tools. The most common of these tools is the V-groove. This mechanism allows for alignment of the fibers in the splice. It consists of a base plate that features a V-groove. The fibers are then cleaved and inserted into the V-groove. Once in place, the ends of the fibers are butt-coupled into contact.
Before performing the splicing procedure, a fiber cable has to be prepared. First, the fiber cable should be stripped of its protective jacketing, buffer tubing, or coating. Then, a second fiber is inserted so that both ends meet and are held together by a locking nut.
Depending on the type of splice, both fusion and mechanical splicing have several basic steps. The first step is to strip off protective coatings and clean the fiber to the bare glass. Next, the cleaved end of the fiber must be mirror-smooth and perpendicular to the axis of the fiber.
Mechanical fiber splicing is a good alternative to fusion splicing because it does not require electrical power and does not require any extra equipment. This method has a higher insertion loss than fusion splicing and is best suited for short-term connections. In addition, it struggles to meet alignment tolerances for single-mode fibers.
Although both types of splices require tools and equipment, mechanical splices cost less in the long run. Fusion splicing devices cost thousands of dollars, while mechanical splices require only a few hundred dollars. The cost per splice is also less with mechanical splicing.
The process of fusion splicing involves joining two optical fibers end-to-end. Its goal is to ensure that light traveling through the fibers is not scattered or reflected back. It also aims to make the splice and region surrounding it as strong as the fiber itself.
While performing fusion splicing, it is important to ensure that the fiber is free from dust, debris, and other contaminants. These contaminants can cause misalignment and increased loss. They can also lead to equipment degradation. In addition, the cleave position affects the splice quality. There are several types of fusion splicing machines on the market. These machines vary in capabilities, price, and features. They also use different fiber alignment technologies.
One advantage of fusion splicing is that it is more effective than mechanical splicing. However, if a cable has more than one strand, you might want to use a mechanical splicing method. Mechanical splicing is often used for temporary connections because it does not require a complicated and expensive apparatus.
A quality fusion splicing machine will not attempt to complete a splice if it cannot ensure a seamless connection. It will also prevent the cores from being correctly aligned. Because the fiber splices must be perfect, the splicing process takes a bit more time than mechanical splicing.
Before starting the splicing process, fibers should be cleaned thoroughly. Any buffer coatings should be removed before fibers are placed in the splicing machine. The fibers must also be cleaved using a fiber cleaver. Finally, fibers are placed in a splice closure, which must be sealed to prevent moisture damage.
The main goal of fusion splicing is to obtain near-perfect alignment of the fiber cores. This ensures a seamless fusion, with minimal signal loss or reflection. The two fiber ends are then heated to fuse together using an electric arc. If the spliced fibers are crimped correctly, they won’t break during normal processing.
The fusion splicing process requires a polarization-maintaining fiber, as well as multi-core fibers. The goal of the splicing process is to create a high-tensile strength, low-loss joint. Strength testing is vital to ensure the durability of the splice. A common cause of failure is the presence of breaks near the fibers. Cleaning the fiber is also an important part of the fusion process.