Fiber Splicing

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Fiber Splicing : 

Fiber Splicing Mechanical and Fusion

Fiber Optic Splicing : 

Fiber Optic Splicing What is it How it is performed What are the types

Agenda : 

Agenda What is fiber splicing? What are the splicing methods? How is it accomplished? What do I need to make a splice? What are the advantages & disadvantages? Why and when to use one vrs. the other?

Fusion Splicing : 

Fusion Splicing Fiber Optic Splicing Simply put, fiber optic splicing involves joining two fiber optic cables together. Fiber splicing typically results in lower light loss and back reflection. It allows for extension of the fiber cable beyond manufactured cable lengths. It is an organized and easy method for joining two different types of cable together, such as a 48-fiber cable to four 12-fiber cables. Splicing is also used to restore fiber optic cables when a cable is accidentally severed or to change the plant.

Fusion Splicing : 

Fusion Splicing Methods for Fiber Optic Splicing There are two basic methods of fiber optic splicing, either mechanical or, fusion

Fusion Splicing : 

Fusion Splicing Mechanical splices are simply alignment devices, designed to hold the two fiber ends in a precisely aligned position thus enabling light to pass from one fiber into the other. (Typical loss: 0.3 dB) Fusion Splicing is where a machine is used to precisely align the two fiber ends then the glass ends are "fused" or "welded" together using some type of heat or electric arc. This produces a continuous connection between the fibers enabling very low loss light transmission. (Typical loss: 0.1 dB)

Splicing Tools : 

Splicing Tools The tools needed for mechanical and fusion are very similar. With the exception of the actual splicing tool. Cable preparation tools (cable entry tools) Fiber stripper Cleaver Consumables Armored Cable Cutter Cable Slitters and cutters Stripper

Splicing Tools : 

Splicing Tools Fiber protection products ISP – enclosure (OtpX, Lightspace, OCS, VSC, etc) OSP – enclosure (PLP, 3M, Systimax, Tyco)

Splicing - Mechanical : 

Splicing - Mechanical Mechanical Splicing requires the use of a mechanical splice tool. The top pictures are of 3M FibrLok system, the bottom is the Corning CamSplice system. The four basic steps to performing a mechanical splice are: Preparing the fiber - Strip the protective coatings, jackets, tubes, strength members, etc. leaving only the bare fiber showing. The main concern here is cleanliness. Cleave the fiber - The process is identical to the cleaving for fusion splicing but the cleave angle precision is not as critical. Mechanically join the fibers - Simply position the fiber ends together inside the mechanical splice unit. The index matching gel inside the mechanical splice apparatus will help couple the light from one fiber end to the other. Protect the fiber - The completed mechanical splice provides its own protection for the splice.

Splicing - Mechanical : 

Splicing - Mechanical Fusion Splicing requires the same initial 2 basic steps as mechanical splicing, plus the fusion splicer and either a heat shrink sleeve, mechanical sleeve or bare fusion protection device. The top pictures are of Leviton’s organizing clips and heat shrink protection sleeves. The bottom picture is of a mechanical fusion protection sleeve. Bare fusion protection is provided via placement of the spliced fiber in a organizer and covering them with a silicone adhesive (usually a piece of plastic sheeting is placed over the silicone so it doesn’t stick to the splice tray cover). The four basic steps to performing a fusion splice are: Preparing the fiber Cleave the fiber Fusion the fibers - Simply position the fiber ends together inside the fusion splicer. The fusion splicer will perform and check the splice. Protect the fiber – Using the preferred method protection for the splice.

Splicing – Fusion : 

Splicing – Fusion Fusion Splicing requires the use of a fusion splicer. The number of fusion splicers has grown rapidly in the last few years. They have changed from large & bulky to hand-held. From single only to multi-ribbon. Fusion splicers are normally of 2 types core alignment via cameras or light injection and detection (LID).

Splicing – Fusion : 

Splicing – Fusion Basically either type splicer uses a 4 step process. 1- Initial setting, 2 – Prefusion, 3 – Fusion, 4 – Pull test

Fusion Splicing – Alignment Process : 

Fusion Splicing – Alignment Process The best fusion splicers use a X, Y, Z axis movable fiber holder to assure perfect core-to-core fiber alignment. Through the use of precision cameras that simultaneously view the X & Y axis (core-to-core) or injection of light on one side and detection of light (Light Injection and Detection – LID) on the other side, they adjust the stepper motors until the cores are aligned. They then use the Z axis motor to press the fibers together after the prefusion burn and then stretch the fiber back to it’s original OD. After the fusion is complete, the Z motor then pulls the fibers apart to check the splice strength. The cameras or LID also do a check of estimated splice loss by viewing the core alignment result or comparison of light strength.

Fusion Splicer – Camera Core Alignment : 

Fusion Splicer – Camera Core Alignment In this picture you can see the electrode, the fiber holders (fixed & movable) and in the very center one of the cameras is visible.

Fusion Splicer – Camera Core Alignment : 

Fusion Splicer – Camera Core Alignment In this screen picture you can see the fibers. The core can be seen due to the different index of refraction between the core and cladding.

Fusion Splicer – LID Core Alignment : 

Fusion Splicer – LID Core Alignment This is a drawing of the way an LID device works. Basically light is injected on one side and read on the other.

Splicing – Mechanical vs. Fusion : 

Splicing – Mechanical vs. Fusion Advantages / Disadvantages Mechanical Typical loss: 0.3 dB Typical back-reflection: Low initial investment ($1,000 - $2,000) Cost per splice ($12-$40 each) Requires lower level of technical skill Fusion Splicing Typical loss: 0.1 dB (lowest typical loss) Typical back-reflection: 0dB (lowest typical back-reflection) High initial investment ($7,500 - $22,000) Cost per splice ($0.50-$1.50 each) Requires higher level of technical skill When to use Quick need – mechanical Low loss – fusion Low back-reflection – fusion High volume – fusion High density – fusion

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