Splicing Fiber Optic Cable – mechanically
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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