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Why Is Static a Problem on Fiber End-faces?

Static is an insidious actor when it comes to fiber optics. It comes from friction. Anytime two different materials are rubbed together there is a transfer of surface electrons that creates a static charge. The technical term for this event is “triboelectric charging.” This static charge turns the fiber optic end-face into a microscopic magnet, attracting Read More

Why Is It Important to Clean Both Ends of the Connector Pair?

The IEC 61300-3-35 in Section 5.1 defines the “contact zone” for single fiber connectors as a diameter between 130µm to 250µm for both multi-mode and single-mode fibers.  If there are any residues in the contact zone, the residues will transfer and cross-contaminate both connectors when they are mated together or plugged into an optical transceiver. Read More

Why Do I Need To Clean My Fiber Optic Connectors Before Mating?

It is critical to clean both ends of the connector pair to get optimal network performance. Contamination that is not removed will cause unnecessary signal loss (and that’s the best case scenario) and can even cause permanent damage the surface of both connector end faces (pretty much worst case). The industry standards — IEC 61300-3-35, Read More

What’s the Best Way to Clean Ports, Down Inside Alignment Sleeves?

Cleaning inside the alignment sleeve is one of the most challenging cleaning tasks in industry today, and yet it must be performed quickly, consistently and reliably for the fiber network to operate to its rated specifications. To clean inside an alignment sleeve, you should use a clean-room grade optical swab or a push-to-clean cleaning tool. Read More

What’s the Best Way to Clean After Cleaving Fiber, Before Splicing?

Cleaning BEFORE cleaving is important, but not AFTER cleaving. There is nothing cleaner than the end-face of a newly-cleaved fiber. Fiber never should be cleaned after cleaving. If you do, the fiber end-face will be contaminated. This will cause extra work for the fusion splicer in the pre-burn phase, shorten the lifespan of the units Read More

What Contamination Can Be Found on Fiber?

In very general terms, the contamination found on termini end-faces will fall into three basic categories: particulates, oils and salts. Each requires specialized methods for proper removal. Particulates are solids usually held on the end-face by electrostatic attraction. Static charges will actually attract dust particles in the same way a magnet attracts iron filings! The Read More

Wet-Dry Cleaning — What Are the Advantages? Is It Really Better?

As people became aware of the problems with IPA alcohol, many folks discontinued the use of solvents and went with dry cleaning only. However, dry cleaning has been proven to be less than desirable. As it turns out, wiping dry on a fiber end-face will generate a static charge (technically known as a triboelectric charge) Read More