Fiber Optic Tools To Terminate Fiber Optic Cables

There are various kinds of fiber optic tools utilized in the fiber optic installation and maintenance works. And the cable stripper is a tool to remove the outside jacket from an optical fiber cable, plays an important role in the fiber optic cable splicing process.

A high quality fiber stripper will safely and efficiently remove the outside jacket from an optical fiber cable. Just with a highly fiber stripper of your fiber cable jacket tends to make an undamaged exposed fiber that is important for successful splicing of two optical fibers. An optical fiber stripper can help you speed up the process of performing fiber network maintenance work and avoid excessive network downtime. But do you know how to cut fiber optic cables?

Terminating fiber optic cables might seem complicated if you do it the first time. Follow these instructions below to understand the proper method of cutting and do the job yourself. Read on to learn the basics of cutting fiber optic cables. Your safety is of utmost importance. Wear gloves while working with fiber optic cables.

With the right set of tools, fiber optic cable cutting can be a very simple undertaking. Striping fiber optic cable isn’t a job for a wire stripper. You need special strippers that allow you to precisely remove the correct cable layers for the job. The tools needed for fiber terminations are fiber optic cable strippers, kevlar scissors, fiber cleavers, ST, SC, LC or MTRJ fiber optic connectors, fiber connector hand polishing puck, fiber polishing films and fiber inspection microscope.

1. Strip the fiber with a fiber optic stripper

Tri-Hole Fiber Optic Stripper
Fiber cables come with 3mm jacket, Kevlar strength member and 0.9mm buffer coating. To get off the 0.125mm fiber cladding, you need to remove the 3mm jacket with a fiber stripper, then cut the Kevlar fibers with a Kevlar cutter, finally strip the 0.9mm buffer down to 0.125mm cladding with a fiber optic stripper.

2. Cleave the fiber with a fiber cleaver

Fujikura CT-30A High Precision Fiber Cleaver
After stripping the fiber down to 0.125mm cladding, you insert the fiber into a SC, ST or LC connector, and then inject some fiber optic epoxy into the connector with a syringe. You will then lay the connector into a hot oven to cure the fiber epoxy so it can hold the fiber tightly. After the curing process, you cleave extra fibers from the connector tip with a Fujikura cleaver.

3. Hand polishing the fiber
In the next step, you put the connector (already with fiber fixed inside) into a hand polishing puck, which serves as a fixture while you polish the end face of the connector to get a high quality mirror like finish. You then hold the polishing puck and polish the connector on a connector lapping film in a figure 8 shape for 10~15 times. Repeat the hand polishing steps stepping from 12um, 3um and 0.5um lapping films.

4. Fiber termination quality inspection
The final step is to inspect the quality of your work. You insert the finished connector into a fiber optic inspection microscope which zooms to 200 to 400 time level to show you all the scratches and pits that may exist on the connector end face. If everything looks perfect, then you can connector your fiber into the network.