Fiber optic fusion splicing is always needed when we want to fuse two optical fibers together for the continuity of fiber optic cable plant. However, in the optical fiber fusion splicing process, fiber tips are required to have a smooth end face that is perpendicular to the fiber axis. Sufficiently perpendicular and planar fiber end face can be achieved via the fiber cleaving process. |
Simply speaking, a fiber cleaver is a piece of tools of equipment to make a perfect fiber end face cut that will assure the quality of the joint of bare fibers in the optic fusion process, resulting in lower attention of the fiber connection line.
In the fiber cleaving process, the fiber is pressed against the little cut to force it to break at 90 angle and expose a mirror like fiber end face. The fiber is scratched with a very hard diamond edge scribing tool, which induces a sufficiently large surface crack, then the fiber cleaver applies a tensile stress to the fiber which caused the crack to expand rapidly across the fiber cross section. There are also types of fiber cleaves apply the tensile stress first and then scratch the fiber with the diamond edge scribing tool. A quality fiber cleaver is very essential in determining the fusion splicing loss. This is especially correct for some special fibers including dispersion-compensating fibers and erbium-doped fibers.
A fiber cleave is initiated by lightly scratching the surface of the fiber. When the fiber is thereafter pulled or bent, a crack will originate at the scratch and propagate rapidly across the width of the fiber. This produces a nearly flat cleave of an optical fiber. Under the direction of this idea, there developed a variety of commercial optical fiber cleaving tools in the market:
Some cleavers apply a tensile stress to the fiber while scratching the fiber's surface with a diamond edge. There are also other designs scratch the fiber surface first, and then apply tensile stress. Some cleaves apply a tensile stress which is uniform across the fiber cross section while others bend the fiber trough a tight radius, producing high tensile stresses on the outside of the bend.
Fiber optic cleaving tool is usually designed for cutting different number of fibers at a time. Single fiber cleaver and ribbon fiber cleaver are typical. They work on the same principles but ribbon cleaver is for simultaneously cleaving all the fibers in a ribbon cable, which is somewhat interior to that of a single fiber cleaver. Most today’s fiber cleavers are suitable for precision cleaving of all common single silica glass fibers. There are also some special cleaver designed ones for applications such as in research, measurement technology and production of optic components.
Under on-side conditions, most high precision cleavers produce a cleave angle deviation within 0.5° with very high reliability and low scattering. Diamond bladed presents the highest cleaver quality and can last over 10,000 cleaves.
It is easy for a modern fiber cleaver to cleave a 125um diameter fiber, but difficult to cleave >200um fibers. This is especially turn when the fiber is not crystalline. Besides, torsion will produce a non perpendicular endface.
Typical brand for fiber optic cleaver are Fujiura, Sumitomo, Furukawa, etc. Typical models of these brand are also available at FiberStore.
Take Sumitomo FC-6S and Fujikura CT-30 for example. The CT-30 cleaver are available fro either single or ribbon fiber splicing applications. It is idea for FTTx applications and equally at home in a splicing van or in a bucked truck. With The 16-position blade yields 48,000 single-fiber cleaves, or 4,000 12-fiber ribbon cleaves beforerequiring replacement, and the built-in scrap collector conveniently stores fiber shardsuntil they can be safely discarded. The FC-6 cleaver is available with a single fiber adapter for 250 to 900 micron coated single fibers. This cleaver is simple for users to operate by removing or installing the single fiber adapter and alternate between mass and single fiber cleaving.
Additional information on a variety of fiber cleaving equipments, please visit FiberStore Fiber Optic Cleavers page or contact our sales team by firstname.lastname@example.org.
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