Fiber splicing is the procedure of permanently joining two fibers together. Unlike fiber connectors, which are designed for easy reconfiguration on cross-connect or patch panels.
Mechanical splicing doesn’t physically fuse two optical fibers together, rather two fibers are held butt-to-butt within a sleeve with some mechanical mechanism. You will definately get worse insertion loss and back reflection in Sheathing line than in fusion splices (the next type we are introducing below). Mechanical splicing is generally employed for emergency repairs and fiber testing. You should check out some mechanical splice products here.
The 2nd type splicing is known as fusion splicing. In fusion splicing, two fibers are literally welded (fused) together by a power arc. Fusion splicing is regarded as the commonly used approach to splicing as it provides for the smallest insertion loss and virtually no back reflection. Fusion splicing offers the most reliable joint between two fibers. Fusion splicing is performed by an automated machine called fusion splicer (fusion splicing machines). We shall center on fusion splicers in this particular tutorial.
When we said above, fusion splicer is the machine utilized to weld (fuse) two optical fibers together. This process is known as fusion splicing. The fiber ends are prepared, cleaved, and put into alignment fixtures in the fusion splicer. On the press of the mouse, the fiber ends are heated with electrodes, brought together, and fused.
Fusion splicers are automatic machines that you have to either choose factory recommended settings or you set the splicing parameters yourself. You can find five steps to fusion splicing using a splicing machine.
There are several kinds of fusion splicing machines available, varying in features and capability, and price. So you must do your homework before making a decision. These section describes different fiber alignment technologies in various kinds of fusion splicers.
Optical fiber core alignment (otherwise known as “profile alignment”) fiber draw tower use multiple cameras to examine the two cleaved fibers before fusing and allow for multiple axis movement of the fibers. Both the fibers are illuminated from two directions, 90 degrees apart. In the multiple video cameras, the appliance recognizes the core from the fibers and aligns them automatically using movable stages.
Core alignment splicers are high-end units allow users to save separate programs or recipes where factors for example splice efforts and temperature might be highly customized. Such top end fusion splicers magnify and visually display the splice, and use active core-alignment to align the fibers. Light injection technology and imaging software align the fiber cores so maximum light passes from one fiber towards the other, ensuring minimal splice loss.
This provides you with for precise fiber alignment, causing a typical splice reduction in only .02dB. This amount of precision is needed for many single mode fiber applications and also enhances performance of multimode fiber. Ribbon splicers typically use core alignment.
Core alignment fusion splicers have for ages been the preferred technique for CATV installations, backbone networks, specialty fiber applications, and optical components manufacturing largely szzstrand of the high accuracy and reliability. The following picture shows a AFL FSM-60S core alignment fusion splicer.
More Sheathing line employ clad alignments to line up the fibers for splicing. The fibers sit in a holder or V-groove and therefore are lined up “physically”, based on the outer diameter of the fiber’s cladding. These splicing units are at the mercy of the fibers’ glass geometry characteristics and tolerances (Clad Diameter, Clad Non-Circularity, and Core-to-Clad Concentricity). Even though the outer diameters are aligned, doesn’t mean the cores will likely be perfectly aligned. Such units typically produce higher loss splices and lack the features and suppleness of higher end splicers.
Clad alignment splicers also have multiple cameras but only enable single axis movement in the fiber. Alignment is aided from a fixed v-groove. The normal loss for this type of splice is .05dB. Clad alignment splicers work best suited for multimode applications. The next picture shows a AFL FSM-16S cladding alignment splicing machine.