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Optical Fiber Joints

FIBER ALIGNMENT LOSS :- A main source of extrinsic coupling loss in fiber-to-

fiber connections is poor fiber alignment. The three basic coupling errors that occur during
fiber alignment are fiber separation (longitudinal misalignment), lateral misalignment, and
angular misalignment. Most alignment errors are the result of mechanical imperfections
introduced by fiber jointing techniques.

(1) Longitudinal misalignment:-

With fiber separation, a small gap
remains between fiber-end faces after
completing the fiber connection. Figure .
illustrates this separation of the fiber-end

(2) Lateral misalignment:- Lateral, or

axial, misalignment occurs when the
axes of the two fibers are offset in a
perpendicular direction. Figure shows
this perpendicular offset of the axes of
two connecting fibers.

(3) Angular misalignment :-

Angular misalignment occurs when the
axes of two connected fibers are no longer
parallel. The axes of each fiber intersect
at some angle . Figure illustrates the
angular misalignment between the core

When optical fibers are connected, optical power may be reflected back into the source
fiber. Light that is reflected back into the source fiber is lost. This reflection loss, called
Fresnel reflection, occurs at every fiber interface. Fresnel reflection is caused by a step
change in the refractive index that occurs at the fiber joint.

FIBER SPLICES:- A permanent joint between two separate optical fibers is known as
Fiber splices. Splicing is generally used to join two fibers in long distance optical link.
There are two methods for splicing
(1) Fusion splicing
(2) Glue Splicing or Mechanical Splicing .

Fusion Splicing:- In this technique the fibers ends are fused together. This is done by
heating the interface of two properly aligned Fibers so that they get softened and
fused.This result in a continuous fiber connection. Two fibers are said to be welded.
In this method of joining two fibers , first of all the cables and buffer coating are
removed from the fibers to be joined. The both the fibers re clamped and aligned face to
face with the help of clamper. After this perfusion is done which rounds off the ends of
the fibers as shown in fig. Then the two fibers re pressed together and high electric arc
is used to weld them with each other.

Glued Splicing/Mechanical Splicing :-In this technique the two fibers are glued
together with a transparent index matching adhesive (glue) after they have been
properly aligned by certain mechanically methods. Some of the mechanical
arrangements which can be used in glued splicing are given below.

(a) Snug Type Splice :- It is basically an accurate aligned capillary made up of ceramic
or glass with transparent bore and inner diameter just sufficient to accommodate the
fibers. The fibers which are to be spliced are inserted after preparing their faces and a

transparent index matching glue is injected
through the bore to get a permanent bonding
between the fibers. Generally , UV cured
epoxy resin is used as an adhesive.

(b) Loose Fit Square Tube :- Another

method of mechanical splicing uses a tube
with square cross section which can freely
accommodate the fibers to be joined. When
using such a tube, adhesive is first
introduced in the tube and then prepared
fibers are inserted from the two sides so as to
meet at the centre.

( C ) V- Groove Spicing Method :- A

glass substrate with a V- shaped groove
having dimensions to accommodate
fiber is used to make a glued splice. The
longitudinal V- groove is used to align
the fibers properly. Epoxy resin is used
as the transparent glue.

Optical Fiber Connectors: - A temporary or demountable joint between two fibers is

known as connector.

Types of connector :
(1) Butt Joint connector
(2) Expanded Beam connector

(1) Butt Joint Connector :- Such type of connectors have a ferrule for each fiber and a
precision sleeve which has ferrule fitted in it. The ferrule can be made up of ceramic,
metal or moulded plastic. The ceramic materials are mostly used because of good
chemical, thermal and mechanical resistance property. The ferrule has a precision hole.
After removing the buffer coating etc of the fiber is inserted into ferrule hole and the
plastic coating of fiber is permanently boned with ferrule. two such ferrules are there
connected to fibers. A precision sleeve contains both the ferrules in a manner so that
they properly aligned and allow the inner ends of fibers to be butt jointed. Such butt
connector are used in both single mode and multimode fibers.

Expanded Beam Connector:-

Such type of connectors use two lenses for collimating (expanding ) and focusing the
light from one fiber to another. The lenses are placed from the end of the fiber at a
distance equal to their focal lengths. The light coming out of the transmitting fiber is
collimated by a lens 1 into expanded beam and lens 2 again focuses it on the core of the
receiving fiber. Expanded beam connector are suitable for multi fiber joints