Cleaning Fiber Optical Components with Fiber Cleaning Tools


According to professionals, fiber optic fibers are blocked by dust particles that are as small as 9 micrometers. Due to these high dust sensitivity levels, it's paramount that you ensure that your cables are thoroughly cleaned with correct Fiber Cleaning Tools before installing them. To help you out, here are the areas that you should clean.

Bulkheads and receptacles: Receptacles are packaged devices that come with optical ports. They make use of lens based systems that are less sensitive to contamination. You can dry or wet clean them. To dry clean them you need to use lint-free swabs. You should start by switching off the lasers and then remove the protective endcap.

Inspect the fiber connector in the bulkhead using a fiberscope probe. If dirty, prepare the swap that will fit the connector ferrule size. You should then insert the swab into the adapter and turn it in several revolutions in the same direction until it gets clean.

To wet clean the bulkheads and receptacles you need lint-free swabs and isopropyl alcohol. When cleaning the units, be cautious as improper cleaning can cause damage. Remember that residual isopropyl alcohol can serve as a mechanism for transferring dirt to the end face. Besides, to avoid problems, ensure that no alcohol gets into the guide pin holes.

Pigtails and patch cords: Just like when cleaning bulkheads and receptacles, you should clean pigtails and patch cords using both dry and wet cleaning methods. To dry clean the units, use cartridge and pocket style fiber cleaning tools. Avoid scrubbing the fiber against the fabric. Also, avoid cleaning over the same surface more than once. This is to avoid damaging or contaminating the connector.

It's recommend that you clean the components using the dry method, but if the method doesn't get rid of dirt, use the wet method. To wet clean the units use lint-free swabs and 99% isopropyl alcohol. Ensure that the alcohol doesn't evaporate slowly off the ferrule. This is to prevent residual material from forming on the cladding and fiber core.

In addition, to avoid contamination of the contents during fiber connection, keep the endcaps in clean separate containers when you remove them.

Generally speaking, these are tips on how to clean fiber optic fibers. In addition to the above tips, also ensure that you never clean bulkheads or receptacle devices without inspecting them. To avoid contamination avoid touching portions of tissue, swab or cleaning fabric. You also shouldn't twist or pull the fiber cable forcefully.