When it comes to fiber optic splicing, the implementation of a good quality cleaver can help you in saving your overall costs significantly.
If you wish to achieve high-quality fiber optic terminations or splices it is vital to cleave the fiber properly.
This in particular when making use of any pre-polished connectors with internal fiber already installed.
The Fiber Splicing Process requires Cleaving.
In the concept of fiber optic splicing, cleaving is essential.
It is referred to as the technique of cutting an optical fiber.
It can also be mentioned as the process of precisely splicing or breaking the fiber for termination.
Just like the process of splicing a glass plate, the optical fiber is cut by either scratching or scoring the surface.
Then, by applying stress to the fibre the glass should break smoothly.
Once the procedure of cleaving the optical fiber is achieved successfully, the fiber will be left with a clean, well-defined surface that remains perpendicular to the fiber’s length.
As such, there is no remnant of any protruding glass on either side of the fiber (referred to as a lip).
Why is a Cleaver used for Fiber Optic Splicing?
A cleaver for fiber optic splicing is referred to as a specialized tool. It is responsible for holding the fiber under the impact of low tension.
The cleave tool is also responsible for scoring the surface of the fiber at a given location. The cleaver applies great impact or tension until it results in the breaking of the fiber.
Good cleavers tend to be automatic and deliver product-consistent results. At the same time, the good-quality cleavers are also not dependent on the operator.
In the case of using an automatic cleaver for fiber optic cleaving, the user is only required to clamp the fiber into the specific cleaver while operating its controls effectively.
Some cleavers that you come across in the market might be less automated. For instance, the less automated cleavers require the operators to put additional force manually for breaking the optical fiber.
This makes the cleavers highly dependent on the operators. Which in turn could mean that these cleavers may produce less predictable results?
Importance of Proper Cleaving
When you wish to join two optical fibers, it requires the mating of the fiber at its two ends.
In case the ends of the optical fiber are not cleaved properly, the ends of the fiber will not be able to be joined properly.
Another issue is that if the ends that are cleaved are at some angle, a gap will appear between the fibers.
This would lead to a significant loss when mechanical splicing.
For Fusion Splicing, this might lead to an uneven joint.
If there happens to be a lip or a protrusion, on any one of the optical fibers, then the two fibers will not mate properly.
At the same time, if there happens to be a surface defect the ends would diffuse or reflect light.
The result of this would be a major loss of information. This is often referred to as a mist or a hackle.
Having a fully automatic fiber cleaver allows for more consistent cleaving precision and efficiency.
The long-term benefits of these are clear to see.