This article initially explains What Are The Fiber Optic Splicing Methods And Their Importance? After that, for your reference, compares the two ways. Fiber optic splicing is a common way of connecting two fiber-optic lines. This is the preferred choice when an available fiber cable is insufficiently lengthy for the needed run.
Fiber optic splicing is also used to repair damaged fiber-optic lines. In case they are broken by accident.
Fiber optic splicing is commonly used in telecommunications, LAN (Local Area Network), and networking projects. Fiber optic splices are typically performed in two ways: fusion splices or mechanical splices.
Fiber Optic Splicing Methods and Their Importance
Fiber optic splicing is a critical process in the world of optical communication. It involves joining two optical fibers permanently, ensuring that light signals can pass from one fiber to another with minimal loss. There are two primary methods of fiber optic splicing:
1. Fusion Splicing
Fusion splicing is the most widely used method, providing the lowest-loss connection. In this method:
- The two fibers are precisely aligned.
- A fusion splicer is used to melt the fibers and weld them together.
- The typical insertion loss is less than 0.1dB.
- Fusion splicers, although bulky and expensive, offer high precision.
2. Mechanical Splicing
Mechanical splicing is an alternative technique that doesn’t require melting the fibers. Instead:
- A small mechanical splice aligns and secures the two fibers.
- The connection loss is usually less than 0.5dB.
- Mechanical splices are handy for quick repairs or permanent installations.
Importance of Fiber Optic Splicing:
- Low Insertion Loss: Proper splicing ensures minimal signal loss, which is crucial for maintaining strong communication signals over long distances.
- Permanent Connection: Unlike connectors that can be detached and reattached, splicing offers a permanent connection, ensuring consistent signal transmission.
- Cost-Effective: Once spliced, the maintenance cost is minimal, making it a cost-effective solution in the long run.
Understanding the methods and importance of fiber optic splicing is crucial for anyone involved in optical communication.
Whether it’s for a large-scale telecommunication network or a local FTTH (Fiber to the Home) setup, effective splicing ensures reliable and efficient signal transmission.
What Exactly Is Optical Fiber Splicing?
Splicing optical fibers is used to connect two optical fiber lines permanently. Termination or connect erization are other terms for this approach.
When two types of cables (for example, 48-fiber cable and 12-fiber cable) are linked together for a longer run with a single length of fiber cable, this method is usually favored.
Splicing of optical fibers can be used to restore a buried optical fiber. This technology is mostly utilized for long-distance signal/data transfer in optical communication networks.
Fusion Splicing Method For Fiber Optic Splicing
Fusion splicing is a technique for permanently joining two or more optical fibers. An electrical arc is used to join the two fibers together. This is the most common fiber optic splicing procedure.
Because it delivers the least amount of loss, the least amount of reflectance, and the strongest and most reliable joint between two fibers.
Fusion splicing machines are frequently employed when this procedure is used. The fusion splicing procedure is divided into four basic phases. They are shown one by one in the following.
Step 1: Remove The Fibers
The preparation of both fibers ends to be fused is the first step in the splicing process.
As a result, all protective coatings, jackets, tubes, strength members, and other components must be stripped.
You leave the bare fiber exposed. It is recommended that the cables be clean.
Step 2: Sever The Fiber
You’ll need a decent fiber cleaver to do an effective fusion splice. The cleaver nicks the fiber before pulling or flexing it.
As a result, rather than cutting the fiber, induce a clean split. The split end-face should be flat and perpendicular to the axis for a correct splice.
Step 3: Fuse The Fibers
Aligning and melting are two crucial processes in the fiber fusion process. The ends of the fiber must first be aligned within the fiber optic splicer.
After ensuring appropriate alignment, melt the fibers with an electrical arc. As a result, the two fiber ends can be permanently joined.
Step 4: Safeguard The Fiber
The tensile strength of a common fusion splice is between 0.5 and 1.5 pounds. It is also difficult to break during typical handling.
It does, however, need to be protected from extreme bending and pulling forces.
The splice can be protected from the elements and damage by utilizing heat shrink tubing, silicone gel, and mechanical crimp protectors.
Mechanical Splicing Method For Fiber Optic Splicing
The mechanical splice is a preferable alternative if you wish to make splices quickly and effortlessly. A mechanical splice connects two or more optical fibers. A self-contained assembly aligns and holds the fibers in place.
Connectors to join fibers are a good example of this technology. This approach is most commonly used for quick, interim restoration and multimode fiber splicing.
The fibers are installed in a building. A mechanical splice follows the same four essential procedures as a fusion splice.
Step 1: Remove The Fibers
The fiber preparation is nearly identical to that of fusion splicing. Take off the extra layers, jackets, tubes, and reinforcement members.
So, the bare fiber may be seen. After that, make sure the fiber is clean.
Step 2: Sever The Fiber
The cleaving of fusion splicing is the same procedure. A cut on the fiber exactly at right angles to the axis is required.
Step 3: Join The Fibers Mechanically
We don’t employ heating as an infusion splice in this step. The fiber ends are connected inside the electromechanical splice unit.
The index matching gel in the automatic splice tools is handy because it can pair light from one end of a fiber.
Step 4: Safeguard The Fiber
After the fibers have been spliced, they are placed in a splice tray and subsequently a splice closure. Heat is not required for outside plant closures.
To minimize moisture damage from the splices, we thoroughly seal shrink tubing.
Splicing Elastic Tubes Method
The fiber losses are modest and nearly identical to fusion splicing. Compared to fusion splicing, it requires less equipment and the ability to install and maintain.
Above is a diagram of splicing elastic tubes. Rubber, an elastic tube with a small hole, is employed. The optical fiber’s diameter for splicing should be larger than the rubber whole’s diameter.
The two ends of the fine optical cables have been tampered with to allow for easy insertion into the tube with minimal loss.
If the optical fiber is placed into the hole, the asymmetrical force acting on the fiber cable causes appropriate alignment and expansion, allowing the cables to link. The optical fiber cable is moved to the tube axis, and the fiber cable diameters are spliced.
Which Method Is More Effective?
Both fusion splicing and mechanical splicing have their benefits and drawbacks. We must take action. Whether you use a fusion splice or a mechanical splice depends on your needs.
Compared to mechanical splicing, fusion splicing has a lower loss and a better degree of persistence.
This procedure, however, necessitates the use of costly fusion splicing equipment.
As a result, we prefer to use fusion splice for lengthy, high-data-rate lines. Once placed, these rate lines are unlikely to be modified.
In these cases, mechanical splicing is frequently performed. When splices must be produced rapidly, expensive fusion splicing equipment is not accessible.
Some mechanical fiber optic splices can connect and disengage. As a result, a mechanical splice can be employed in temporary situations.
Fiber Splicing Benefits
The benefits of fiber splicing include:
- Optical fiber cable splicing is used to transmit optical or light signals over great distances.
- During light transmission, the loss of back reflection is reduced.
- Connects the two optical fiber cables permanently and semi-permanently.
- This method works with both single-mode and multimode optical fiber lines.
Fiber Splicing Negative Effects
The drawbacks of fiber splicing include:
- Fiber losses will be higher during light transmission.
- As splicing increases, the cost of an optical transmission or communication system rises.
This concludes our discussion on optical fiber cable splicing, including varieties, benefits, and drawbacks.
Splicing aims to permanently link the two optical fiber lines and minimize light loss during transmission. What are the applications of splicing optical fiber cables? is a query for you.
To conclude our topic of discussion about What Are The Fiber Optic Splicing Methods And Their Importance? Fiber optic splicing is an integral part of the fiber optic network installation process. We must take action.
Whether you use a fusion splice or a mechanical splice depends on your needs. You must precisely follow the exact guidelines while fiber splicing for perfect splices. It’s also critical to maintain all splicing equipment clean.