Fiber Splicing Cleaver The Tool You Need
In the field of fiber optics, it is very necessary to use fiber optic cables with clean and smooth end face. The fiber optic cleaver is a crucial tools for low-loss and low-reflectance fiber optic splices or terminations, especially when using the pre-polished connectors with internal splices. The fiber cleaver usually work in conjunction with fusion splicers to do optimum splicing jobs, and is the key to quality connectors and splices.Fiber cleaver is an important tool that cleaves the fibers to be spliced precisely. It is the warranty of a good splicing because the quality of the splice will depend on the quality of the cleave. And high quality fiber breaks with clean surfaces are the yardstick for good fiber cleavers.
In optical fiber, a cleave means a controlled break that intentionally creates a perfect flat end face which is perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the fiber. Fiber optic cleaver is used in most production lines. It can give a precise cut at a cleave angle of 90 degrees to the fiber end. Cleavers are available for both single fiber or ribbon fibers.
Two kinds of fiber cleavers are often seen in the market. First is the pen-shaped scribe cleaver, which looks like a ballpoint pen. It has small wedge tip made of diamond or other hard materials. Scribe cleaver is a traditionally low-cost fiber cleaving tool using the scribe-and-pull method to cleave the fiber. The operator may scribe the fiber manually and then pull the fiber to break it. But it is difficult to achieve high cleaving accuracy by this tool.
Therefore, in order to solve the problem of accuracy, the precision cleaver is introduced to the industry. This might cost you much higher than the scribe cleaver, but your working speed and efficiency can be greatly improved since multiple fibers can be cleaved at one time. With the extensive applications of fusion splicers, precision cleavers are favored by operators to avoid splice loss.
Cleaving is the process by which an optical fiber is “cut” or precisely broken for termination or splicing. Just like cutting glass plate, fiber is cut by scoring or scratching the surface and applying stress so the glass breaks in a smooth manner along the stress lines created by the scratch. Properly done, the fiber will cleave with a clean surface perpendicular to the length of the fiber, with no protruding glass on either end.
A fiber cleaver is a tool that holds the fiber under low tension, scores the surface at the proper location, then applies greater tension until the fiber breaks. Good cleavers are automatic and produce consistent results, irrespective of the operator. With good fiber cleavers, you only need to clamp the fiber into the cleaver and operate its controls, then fiberglass is cleaved automatically. However, some cleavers are less automated and require operators to exert force manually to cut the fiber cable, which makes it difficult to predict and control the force. The good cleavers are called as precision cleavers, while the less automated ones are called as cheap or scribe cleavers, which will be introduced in the next part.
Two Types of Fiber Optic Cleavers
As mentioned before, fiber optic cleavers can be classified into precision cleavers and cheap or scribe cleavers.
The scribe or manual cleaver, which is cheaper than the precision cleaver, is the most original type of fiber optic cleaver. Scribe cleavers are usually shaped like ballpoint pens with diamond tipped wedges or come in the form of tile squares. The scribe has a hard and sharp tip, generally made of carbide or diamond, to scratch the fiber manually. Then the operator pulls the fiber to break it. Since the breaking process is under manual control, it is hard to control the force, which makes the cleaving less accurate and precise. That’s why most technicians shy away from these cheap cleavers.
As the name implies, precision cleavers can do a preciser cleaving job compared to the scribe cleavers. A precision cleaver uses a diamond or tungsten wheel/blade to provide the nick in the fiber. Tension is then applied to the fiber to create the cleaved end face. The advantage of the precision cleavers is that they can produce repeatable results through thousands of cleaves by simply just rotating the wheel/blade accordingly. Although they are more costly than scribe cleavers, precision cleavers can cut multiple fibers with increasing speed, efficiency, and accuracy. As the fusion splicers became popular, precision cleavers were developed to support various splicing works. Precision cleavers are deal for fusion splicing standard 125/250um & 125/900um fibers and preparing fiber for various pre-polished connectors.
How to Use Precision Cleaver?
Precision cleaver is the mechanical device, which looks a little difficult for novices to deal with. Here are some simple steps that you can follow when using the precision cleaver:
- Step one, open the fiber clamp.
- Step two, press down on the button and slide the carriage back.
- Step three, move the fiber slide back until it stops.
- Step four, clean the stripped fiber with a solution of greater than 91% ISO alcohol.
- Step five, place the stripped and cleaned fiber into the slot at the desired cleave length.
- Step six, while maintaining firm pressure on the buffer, move the fiber slide forward until it stops.
- Step seven, close the fiber clamp.
- Step eight, slide the carriage forward.
- Step nine, lift the fiber clamp.
- Step ten, move the fiber slide back.
- Step eleven, remove the fiber, which is now cleaved to the proper length.
- Step twelve, remove and properly dispose of the scrap fiber.
- Precautions for Fiber Cleaving
Make sure you comply with these precautions during the process of fiber cleaving:
- First, wear a pair of safety glasses. This can protect your eyes from accidental injury. It is highly recommended when handling chemicals and cleaving fiber.
- Second, be careful when using ISO alcohol. Keep the ISO alcohol away from heat, sparks and open flame. This is because the ISO alcohol is flammable under the flash point of 73° F. It can also cause irritation to eyes on contact. In case of eye contact, flush eyes with water for at least 15 minutes. Moreover, inhaling fumes may induce mild narcosis. In case of ingestion, consult a physician.
- Third, store cleaved glass fibers in proper place. Since cleaved glass fibers are very sharp and can pierce the skin easily. Do not let cut pieces of fiber stick to your clothing or drop in the work area where they can cause injury later. Use tweezers to pick up cut or broken pieces of the glass fibers and place them on a loop of tape kept for that purpose alone.
Precise cleaving is the premise of successful fusion splicing. Thus the quality of the fiber cleavers directly determines the quality of fiber optic splices or terminations. If the fiber ends were not cleaved perfectly, fiber loss would occur which would in turn affect the transmission of signals. To buy reliable and high precision fiber cleavers, please visit https://www.heyoptics.net or contact us via email@example.com.