How to Terminate Fiber Optic Cables with Epoxy

When you have bulk fiber optic cables on hand and need to terminate it with the fiber optic connectors, there are several options for you to handle this job: Epoxy and polish, mechanical cleave and crimp, and the chemical permanent method, fusing splicing the pigtails. The aim of terminating the fiber optic cables is to provide protections for the stripped fiber end in the connector. Poor termination job will result in large optical loss, even cause damages to the connectors and adapters. Among all the method mentioned above, epoxy and polishing is the cheap, fast and easy and low optical loss, so it is welcomed by most cable installers. Follow the steps and see how to terminate your fiber optic cables with the Epoxy.

First, prepare you cable by stripping the cable down to the bare fibers with a fiber stripper which you can get from FiberStore. After that, mix the epoxy resin and hardener that you have prepared ahead, and load them into a syrine( Ignore this step,if you are using a pre-loaded epoxy syringes). Now, it’s time to injuct the expoxy directly from the syringe into the connector ferrule.

Once you have prepared your connector with the epox, you re read to insert the fiber cable so that the cable is seated inside of the connector wall and the bare fiber core sticks out about a half an inch from the front of the ferrule. If your cable is jacked, you will need to use the cable crimping tool to protect the connector to the jacket and strength members of the cables. Two crimps would be necessary to finish the job properly.

The next step is curing the epoxy in the connectors. You may need to place the connected end into a curing holder first to make sure that the end of fiber will not get damaged in the process of curing. Then place the cable and curing holder into a curing oven, situate the connector to make the end is facing down, by doing which, it will ensure the epoxy does not come out of the back side of the connector and compromise the strength member of the cable. As to the curing time and the temperature,follow the instruction book of your specific epoxy.

Once the epoxy are cured sufficiently, cleave the excess fiber core with a fiber cleaver tools as close to the ferrule tips as possible while avoiding any sort of twisting motion. After that, remember to dispose the fiber clipping, which could easily end up in your skin or even in you eye or respiratory system.

After the cleaving and disposing jobs done, you are ready to move on to the next step, polishing the fiber end to a smooth finish. Get a fiber polishing machine to effectively remove any excess epoxy from the ferrule tip and buff out the imperfections on the face of the fiber. A coarse surface would cause the optical loss when the light is passing through it.

When you are satisfied with your polishing job, you are now prepared to clean the ferrule and fiber tip. With a wiper dipped in 99% reagent-grade alcohol, gently wipe the surface area of the ferrule and fiber tips, then, use another wiper to dry them. Remember, the two wiper should all be lint-free.

Now, your fiber optic cable is terminated. To measure if your job is done well or not, you can use a proper fiber inspection microscope to inspect the tip and then use an optical fiber cables tester for the loss measurement.