Fiber optic cleaving is the process to scribe and break an optical fiber endface. Fiber optic technicians need some training in order to gain the skills necessary for best possible results.
The goal for fiber cleaving is to produce a mirror like fiber endface for fiber splicing-either fusion splicing or mechanical fiber splicing. Incorrect or pool cleaving techniques will result in lips and hackles which makes good fibre splicing impossible. A bad cleaving usually has to be redone. The tools needed for fiber cleaving are called fiber optic cleavers.
Fiber optic cleaver is used to cut the fiberglass to make a good end face, as we know the quality of the bare fiber end face will determine the quality of the joint of the fibers in the fiber optic fusion process, and the joint point quality means higher or lower attenuation of the fiber connection line. So the fiber optic cleaver is very important in the fiber splicing process, it works together with the fusion splicer to meet the end needs.
There are two types available on the market: high precision single fiber cleaver and field fiber cleaver, high precision single fiber cleaver for fusion splicer, field cleaver for Fiber Optic Mechanical Splices. High precision fiber cleavers cost from $1,000 to $5000 dollars while field fiber cleavers cost from $100 to $500 dollars.
The design of fiber optic cleavers varies among manufacturers such as AFL, Corning, Fujikura or York. But the working principle is the same. Here I describe a typical work flow of optical fiber cleavers.
1. Strip the fiber to its cladding size, the standard optical fiber cladding size is 125um. The strip length depends on your application.
2. Clean the fiber with lint-free wipes moistened with isopropyl alcohol.
3.Place the stripped and cleaned bare fiber into the fiber cleaver
4.Scribe the bare fiber with either a cutting wheel or a blade
5.Break the fiber with the built-in mechanism on the cleaver
6.Remove the fiber scrap and put it into a fiber disposal unit
This semi-automated process produces high quality cleaving in minimum steps. It has been used widely in the fiber optic communication industry.
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