Optimizing Bare Fiber Polishing Performance: Special Processing Considerations

Feb. 15, 2023, 10 a.m.

Fiber optic polishing is a crucial step in ensuring the quality of optical fiber connections. The endfaces of the fiber must be polished to precise and uniform geometries to achieve low loss and high reliability in fiber optic systems. In this article, we will explore the special processing considerations for bare fiber polishing and the significance of using the appropriate fiber adapter.

The fiber adapter is an important component of the polishing process as it holds the fiber temporarily during polishing. It is crucial to use the correct adapter to achieve optimal polishing performance. Many adapters use a fiber optic ferrule that has been precisely micro-drilled. The fit between the ferrule and the adapter inner diameter is critical for optimal fiber outer diameter and adapter inner diameter fit. This prevents any movement that could alter the endface geometry, affecting the performance of the optical connection.

When inserting the fiber into the adapter, it is important to keep the fiber's protrusion from the ferrule minimal. This prevents any movement that could change the endface geometry and affect the performance of the optical connection. Once the adapter is loaded in the polishing fixture, it must advance to the polishing surface at a controlled rate. Polishers like the KrellTech NOVA have unique programs that use “micro-feed” routines to slowly advance the fiber to the film surface. This helps prevent fiber breakage and ensures a uniform and precise endface geometry.

Observing fiber contact with the film in real-time using an on-board vision system is crucial to prevent fiber breakage. Additionally, videoscope systems such as the KrellTech SpecVision can be used to confirm the final endface geometry of the fiber using measurement software. This helps ensure the quality and reliability of the optical connection.

In conclusion, bare fiber polishing is a crucial step in the manufacture of optical fiber connections. The appropriate fiber adapter, minimal protrusion of the fiber from the ferrule, controlled advancement to the polishing surface, and real-time observation of fiber contact with the film are all necessary to ensure optimal polishing performance and high-quality optical connections.

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