Fiber splicing is the procedure of permanently joining two fibers together. Unlike fiber connectors, which are equipped 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 inside a sleeve with a bit of mechanical mechanism. You will definately get worse insertion loss and back reflection in Sheathing line than in fusion splices (the second type we are introducing below). Mechanical splicing is mainly employed for emergency repairs and fiber testing. You can check out some mechanical splice products here.
The second type splicing is known as fusion splicing. In fusion splicing, two fibers are actually welded (fused) together by an electrical arc. Fusion splicing is easily the most commonly used means of splicing mainly because it offers the best insertion loss and virtually no back reflection. Fusion splicing offers the most trustworthy joint between two fibers. Fusion splicing is performed by a computerized machine called fusion splicer (fusion splicing machines). We will concentrate on fusion splicers in this tutorial.
While we said above, fusion splicer is the machine used to weld (fuse) two optical fibers together. This process is known as fusion splicing. The fiber ends are prepared, cleaved, and placed into alignment fixtures about the fusion splicer. On the press of a button, the fiber ends are heated with electrodes, brought together, and fused.
Fusion splicers are automatic machines that you need to either choose factory recommended settings or maybe you set the splicing parameters yourself. You can find five steps to fusion splicing with a splicing machine.
There are many models of fusion splicing machines available, varying in features and capability, and price. So you want to do your research before making a decision. These section describes different fiber alignment technologies in several types of fusion splicers.
Optical fiber core alignment (also called “profile alignment”) Optical fiber coloring machine use multiple cameras to inspect the 2 cleaved fibers before fusing and let for multiple axis movement in the fibers. The two fibers are illuminated from two directions, 90 degrees apart. From the multiple video cameras, the machine recognizes the core from the fibers and aligns them automatically using movable stages.
Core alignment splicers are high-end units allow users to hold separate programs or recipes where factors like splice some time and temperature might be highly customized. Such top quality fusion splicers magnify and visually display the splice, and use active core-alignment to align the fibers. Light injection technology and imaging software line up the fiber cores so maximum light passes in one fiber for the other, ensuring minimal splice loss.
This provides for precise fiber alignment, resulting in a typical splice loss of only .02dB. This level of precision is required for all single mode fiber applications and in addition enhances performance of multimode fiber. Ribbon splicers typically use core alignment.
Core alignment fusion splicers have always been the favorite method for CATV installations, backbone networks, specialty fiber applications, and optical components manufacturing largely szzstrand in their high accuracy and reliability. The next picture shows a AFL FSM-60S core alignment fusion splicer.
More Optical fiber coloring machine employ clad alignments to line up the fibers for splicing. The fibers sit inside a holder or V-groove and therefore are lined up “physically”, based on the outer diameter from the fiber’s cladding. These splicing units are subject to the fibers’ glass geometry characteristics and tolerances (Clad Diameter, Clad Non-Circularity, and Core-to-Clad Concentricity). Just because 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 adaptability of higher end splicers.
Clad alignment splicers have multiple cameras but only enable single axis movement in the fiber. Alignment is aided with a fixed v-groove. The normal loss for this type of splice is .05dB. Clad alignment splicers would be best suitable for multimode applications. The following picture shows a AFL FSM-16S cladding alignment splicing machine.