How to fuse spliced fiber optic cables?

Industrial fusion splicing of fiber optic cable is performed using a splicing apparatus. This apparatus features two sides mounted with an electrode each, a control panel, and a digital screen to align the fiber optic strands. The following are the main four steps performed in industrial fiber optic splicing.

  1. Preparation: The preparation of fiber cable for splicing involves the following steps.
    • Remove or slide the jacket to expose buffer tubes and fibers.
    • Remove the buffer tubes covering the fiber and clean water-blocking material by using a suitable cleaner.
    • Once each fiber is cleaned thoroughly, strip the buffer coating to expose bare fibers.
    • Cleave each fiber strand with appropriate fiber cleaver or cleaving set up.
    • Place the bare fiber on the splicing apparatus and fix it between two clamp jaws on the sides of the apparatus.
  2. Splicer Program for Alignment: Splicer program performs the splicing process automatically once you select a specific splicing program. However, the following steps are performed in the splicing program.
    • Fiber end inspection for proper cleaves and identification of bad fiber ends. The fiber strand with ends that are not ideal will be rejected by the apparatus.
    • The pre-fusion cycle is activated to remove dirt and debris on fiber ends if any.
    • Fiber ends will be preheated during the pre-fusion cycle itself.
    • At this point, automated splicing will be done by aligning the fiber ends via the core alignment method with the centerline of signal transmission.
    • The ends will be fused together by an automatic electrical arc cycle that generates heat and welds the ends together.
  3. Splice Evaluation: After splicing, the fiber optic strands are evaluated twice. First, the splicing apparatus evaluates the joint via the inspection program and estimates the optic loss in the fiber. If an optic loss is higher than expected then the operator will be notified for re-splicing. If the splicing is done properly, the operator removes the fiber from the apparatus and visually inspects it.
  4. Fiber Protection: Finally, to prevent bending and drag force, the heat shrinkage tube is installed for mechanical protection.