Splicing Fiber Optic Cable – mechanically

 In Splicing

Splicing fiber optic cable – Mechanical Splice instructions.

As mentioned in our previous blog https://yamasakiot.com/2019/10/16/splicing-fiber-optic-cable-is-mechanically-achievable/ the mechanical splicing method is somewhat similar fusion splicing. However, it does not involve the heating and welding step. Mechanical splicing is a fusion technique, in which, the fibers are not welded. In fact, this technique only aligns the fibers so that the light can travel from one fiber to the other.

Let’s look at the process of Mechanical splicing in detail.

Splicing Fiber Optic Cable Step 1 – Preparing the Fiber

To begin the process, you must clean the fiber and take away any type of shield or protective layer that covers the glass fiber. This is because you need to expose the bare glass fiber in order to form the alignment. Once you are done removing the jackets, shield, and protective coating from the fiber; clean the glass fiber with an alcoholic wipe.

Kim Wipes

Splicing Fiber Optic Cable Step 2 – Cleaving the Fiber

First things first, you must not confuse the cleaving process with cutting. If we put it in simple terms, then cleaving is nothing but notching the fiber and bending it a little bit so that it automatically breaks.

If you want to achieve the best possible results, you must cleave the fiber properly using an accurate cleave tool. If you search on the internet, you will come across hundreds of cleaving devices that range from anywhere between $150 to $3,000. People choose a high-quality and expensive cleaver to get a precise and clean cleave. The mechanical splicing method requires a good cleave for optimal performance.

Cleave Tool
Y17 Cleave Tool

Splicing Fiber Step 3 – Joining the Fibers

The main difference between fusion and mechanical splicing process is their connection. Technicians use mechanical splicing when they don’t need to join the fibers permanently. That being said, this process does not involve heating and welding.

The automatic mechanical splice aligns the fiber perfectly. You only need to position the fibers in the device in such a manner that it stands perpendicular to the fiber axis. The mechanical splice has an index matching gel, which is used for light transfer between the fibers. This gel ensures that the light transfers from one fiber to another with minimum connection loss and the least back reflection possible.

Splicing Fiber Step 4 – Protecting the Fiber

The best part about the mechanical splicing technique is that you do not need to take an extra step for fiber protection. As the mechanical splicing device itself acts as the fiber protector, you can rest assured that the fibers will be safe from environmental elements and unnecessary breakage and bending.

mechanical-splice
mechanical-splice

The fusion splice process requires a special heat shrink sleeve to protect the fiber once spliced as it can bend or break if not protected.

Splicing heat sleeve

Conclusion

Mechanical splices come in different structures and brands. While some are affordable, others can be super expensive.

A must-have to achieve the best secure connection between fibers is a high-quality cleave tool for the perfect cut.

y17 Cleave Tool
Y17 Cleave Tool

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splicing fiber optic cable