Epoxy and Polish Fiber Termination Box: This type of connector requires the application of some form of epoxy (glue) between the fiber and the connector ferrule that firmly bonds the two elements together once the epoxy has dried. There are a number of different types of epoxy available:
1. Heat cured epoxy: uses some form of “oven” to cure the epoxy, which can be selected for the optimum performance within pre-determined temperature ranges. The epoxy may either need to be injected into the ferrule by the technician or the connectors may be supplied with the epoxy already injected by the connector manufacturer.
2. Ambient temperature epoxy: cures at room temperature without the need for any power, making it suitable for on-site terminations.
3. Fast acting adhesive: use an accelerant to speed the curing time. It can cause problems if the technician is unable to complete the insertion of the fiber into the ferrule before the epoxy cures.
Pre-polished Connectors: Pre-polished connector has a short length of fiber already installed into the ferrule by the manufacturer. Moreover, the manufacturer also polished the ferrule end face thus there is no need to carry out this step on-site. The fiber to be terminated must be prepared using a specialist cleave tool and inserted into the rear of the connector where an index matching gel is often used to bridge the gap between the two fibers. The terminated fiber is held in place using some form of crimp or locking mechanism on the rear of the connector.
Pigtail Connectors: Splice-on connectors are an alternative to either the pre-polished connector systems or the epoxy method of termination. A pigtail is a short length of 900 micron buffered fiber that has been factory terminated with a fiber optic connector. Thus, it eliminates the need for any on-site termination or polishing of the connector. Splicing the end of the fiber of the pigtail to the end of the fiber of the cable, the pigtail is then attached to the cable. Fusion splicing is a preferred splicing method, where the two fibers are melted together using a high powered electric arc, forming one, single, continuous strand of glass.
Fusion splicing often requires the use of precision fiber cleaving tools and a fusion splicing machine. The fusion splice machine is used to align the two fiber end faces automatically and fuse the two together to create a very low loss joint.
Since fiber optic termination is an indispensable part of the optical network installation, we should always keep in mind the importance of it and get fully prepared before performing the task. Moreover, selecting a proper and efficient fiber termination box could also help to ensure the excellent performance of the network.