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Notes for Fiber Optical Connector Cleaning

Date:20-12-2016

Fiber optical connectors, as one of important linking components, can be found everywhere in fiber optic networks. With fiber optical connectors, you can easily add, drop, move and change the networks. And it’s also well known that a clean and reliable optical connector can provide high performance fiber infrastructure and extend the life of network. Then, how much do you know about fiber optical connector cleaning? Today, four questions may help you know more about it.

Firstly, why fiber optical connector should be cleaned?

Cleaning consideration is a crucial issue in fiber optic cable technology today. If not cleaned properly, the ferrule in connectors is easy to be damaged when connecting, which can result in high costs. What’s more, it’s known to us that the fiber ferrules in the connectors make physical contact with another one within the connectors alignment sleeve. Any contamination or dirt on one of the ferrules can easily be transferred to the mating ferrule, which can cause physical damage to the fiber’s endface and further lead to information transmission failures. Hence, fiber optical connectors should be cleaned carefully.

Secondly, how to clean fiber optical connectors?

Generally, there are two ways to clean fiber optical connectors. One is dry cleaning, and another is wet cleaning. Following is a brief introduction.

Usually, dry cleaning is to use a reel-based cassette cleaner to wipe the connector endface against a dry cleaning cloth in one direction. For angled physical contact polished connectors, it’s essential to ensure the endface surface mates with the cleaning cloth. Generally, dry cleaning can remove airborne contamination.

As for wet cleaning, first wipe the endface against the wet area and then onto a dry area to clean potential residue from the endface. Wet cleaning is more aggressive than dry cleaning, and can remove both airborne contamination and light oil residue.

Thirdly, what types of fiber optic cleaners are there?

With more and more fiber optic components be widely used, fiber optic cleaning is required for an optimum connection between both active fiber equipment and passive fiber equipment. Without cleaning, your network performance and reliability can be influenced. Here are two common types of fiber optic cleaners you can use.

One-click cleaner: One-click cleaner is designed to clean male connectors, female bulkhead adapters, fiber patch cables and test equipment. It cleans the ferrule endface, removing from dust, oil and other contamination without scratching the endface.

Fiber optic cassette cleaner: The cassette cleaner can wipe away contamination from optical connector endface with ease. It’s very easy to use and suitable for LC/MU/SC/FC/ST/MPO/MTRJ connectors. Usually, the body of this cleaner is made from antistatic materials which will not produce dust.

Fourthly, what should be noticed when cleaning fiber optical connectors?

There are various ways to clean fiber optical connectors. But we still should be careful when cleaning fiber optical connectors, as they are easily damaged. Following are some helpful notes that should be given attention to when cleaning connectors.

1. Do not forget to inspect the fiber optical connector, component, or bulkhead before starting cleaning.

2. Do not allow the end of the fiber optical connectors to contact with any surface, including fingers.

3. Do not use alcohol or wet cleaning if no residue left on the endface. It can do harm to the equipment.

4. Do not push it with heavy pressure. Use the fiber optic cleaner correctly by inserting it at the correct angle and clean connectors carefully.

5. Do not forget to reinspect the connectors when the cleaning has been finished.

In a word, keeping fiber optic endfaces clean is extremely important. Hence, choosing suitable cleaning tools for fiber optical connectors is significant.