In the words of Wikipedia, a fiber optic can be defined as “flexible, transparent fiber made up of pure glass (silica), not much wider than a human hair. It functions as a “waveguide” or "light pipe,” to transmit signals in the form of light rays between the two ends of the fiber.”
Fiber optics has an increased demand in the fields of applied sciences and engineering of aerospace, telecom, cabling and manufacturing. A cleaner fiber optic system is important for continuous connectivity; unclean system would hinder smooth functioning of the complete arrangement. Therefore, the system must be inspected on regular intervals and if required Fiber Optic cleaning must be executed to ensure uninterrupted communication.
Let us find out what are the reasons that make such cleaning procedure important.
• Dirt –Small dust & dirt particles present in the air causes the contamination of the fiber optic. The contamination can also arise by being in contact with bench tops or clothing or by other connective devices such as mating connectors.
• Oil - Over a period of its use and maintenance, oil from fingers of the technicians, cleaning wipes, air and connectors can contaminate the fiber optics.
• Spotting - This happens when an alcohol-based solution is used to clean the fiber optic system or if air-drying system is used for cleaning. In some cases, the solvent absorbs the humidity, that results spotting in the optic fibers.
• Scratches - This kind of damage occurs to fiber optic cables when the two surfaces are in continuous friction or at the time of repairs while connecting certain devices.
• Pitting - This generally happens due to high-powered lasers that cause pitting of the fiber optic structure towards the end. Hot plugging of the different types of connectors used in fiber optic systems is also responsible for the pitting or damages to the fiber optics.
• Poor Quality - In most cases of damages and contamination, the prime reason that amplifies the cause could also be the inferior quality of the products used in the entire fiber optic system, disproportionate dimensions and bad surface finish of the optic fibers are some commonly found quality issues.
• Bad Assembly – This reason is the result of using wrong adhesives, low quality polishing, improper cleaning and imperfect assembling of the fiber optic system.
For the uninterrupted flow of communication signals, fiber optic cleaning and regular maintenance is very essential. The techniques involved in such type of cleaning needs ranges from the critical steps of inspection to cleaning and then re-inspecting that ensures smoother functionality of optical networks for the organization.
There are different types of Fiber Optic cleaning products and services offered by companies promising superior quality and faster cleaning options. Visit www.aefos.com for further details on products, user manuals and estimates.