Do you know that a fiber optic splicing offers varied benefits- from operating on a battery, to being compact and lightweight; the advantages of a splice machine are simply endless! Today, state-of-the-art splicers minimize setup time and are perfect for locations where space is tight. Furthermore, the total heater cycle and splice time is less than one minute, thereby helping technicians through various termination locations effectively.
Regardless of the type or quality of the splice machine you purchase, there are four vital steps involved in fusion splicing, namely preparation of the fibers, cleaving the fibers, fusing the two fibers and together and finally, protecting the splice. Let us learn about each in a comprehensive manner.
Preparing the Fiber:
This includes stripping away the protecting coatings, including sheath, jacket and cladding. When the fiber contains only the bare glass, they are precisely cleaned. Here, cleaning is extremely important even minute dust or dirt particle can ruin the whole process.
Step 1: strip the fiber
The splicing process begins with the preparation for both fibers ends to be fused. So you need to strip all protective coating, jackets, tubes, strength members and so on, just leaving the bare fiber showing. It is noted that the cables should be clean.
Step 2: cleave the fiber
A good fiber cleaver is crucial to a successful fusion splice. The cleaver merely nicks the fiber and then pulls or flexes it to cause a clean break rather than cut the fiber. The cleave end-face should be perfectly flat and perpendicular to the axis of the fiber for a proper splice.
Step 3: fuse the fiber
When fusing the fiber, there are two important steps: aligning and melting. Fist of all, aligning the ends of the fiber within the fiber optic splicer. Once proper alignment is achieved, utilizing an electrical arc to melt the fibers to permanently welding the two fiber ends together.
Step 4: protect the fiber
A typical fusion splice has a tensile strength between 0.5 and 1.5 lbs and it is not easy to break during normal handling. However, it still requires protection from excessive bending and pulling forces. By using heat shrink tubing, silicone gel and/or mechanical crimp protectors will keep the splice protected from outside elements and breakage
So, use a splice machine to enhance effectiveness, reduce cost and ensure fusion of fibers in minimal time!