Fujikura/AFL S014773 Portable Tripod Workstation Kit for Fusion Splicers
As splicing requirements have migrated from aerial to ground level locations, a sturdy splicing workstation with the ability to adjust for uneven ground surfaces has been missing from the splicing marketplace. That problem is solved with AFL's Portable Tripod Workstation – the critical missing link in splicing productivity.
The Portable Tripod Workstation offers both a sturdy work tray to support the fusion splicer, cleaver and accessories, and a tripod to support the work tray. The two can be purchased together as a kit or separately for those users who prefer to use their own tripod or mounting mechanism.
The work tray incorporates a unique cleaver mounting system that offers flexibility and convenience for the user. The cleaver mounting arm pivots into and out of the work space, as needed, and securely captures the CT-30, CT-20 and CT-04 style cleavers. The base of the cleaver mounting assembly can be moved to any one of four positions on the tray to accommodate user preferences.
The tripod is solidly constructed but lightweight, weighing less than six pounds, and collapses to a length of only twenty-five inches. The telescoping legs offer flexible height adjustments from thirteen inches to sixty-one inches and the leg angle can be increased for unusual surfaces.
Fusion Splicing Process
The process of fusion splicing normally involves using localized heat to melt or fuse the ends of two optical fibers together. The splicing process begins by preparing each fiber end for fusion.
Stripping the Fiber
Stripping is the act of removing the protective polymer coating around optical fiber in preparation for fusion splicing. The splicing process begins by preparing both fiber ends for fusion, which requires that all protective coating is removed or stripped from the ends of each fiber. Fiber optical stripping can be carried out by a special thermal fiber stripper tool that uses hot sulphuric acid or a controlled flow of hot air to remove the coating. There are also mechanical fiber strippers used for stripping fiber which are similar to copper wire strippers. Fiber optical stripping and preparation equipment used in fusion splicing is commercially available through a small number of specialized companies, which usually also designs machines used for fiber optical recoating.
Cleaning the Fiber
The bare fibers are cleaned using alcohol and wipes.
Cleaving the Fiber
A fiber cleaver is then used to cleave the fiber using the score-and-break method so that its endface is perfectly flat and perpendicular to the axis of the fiber. The quality of each fiber end is inspected using a microscope. In fusion splicing, splice loss is a direct function of the angles and quality of the two fiber-end faces. The closer to 90 degrees the cleave angle is the lower optical loss the splice will yield.
Splicing the Fibers
Current fusion splicers are either core or cladding alignment. Using one of these methods the two cleaved fibers are automatically aligned by the fusion splicer in the x,y,z plane, then are fused together. Prior to removing the spliced fiber from the fusion splicer, a proof-test performed to ensure that the splice is strong enough to survive handling, packaging and extended use. The bare fiber area is protected either by recoating or with a splice protector. A splice protector is a heat shrinkable tube with a strength membrane.