Process of Mechanical Fiber Splicing:
In Fiber optic mechanical splicing, a function similar to the fusion splice is performed but in case the fiber optics are joined together by mechanical means instead of using a welding technique. Mechanical splices look similar to fusion splice protection sleeves. In a mechanical splice, the two cut fiber tips are mechanically connected to each other by a special housing. Typically, index matching gel is placed between the fiber tips to maximize coupling and minimize back reflection. The mechanical splicing method simply uses the alignment devices, which are designed to hold the ends of two fibers in a precisely aligned position which enables the light to pass from one fiber into the other. The products manufactured by the optical components manufacturers has a layer of optical thin film coatings on it which protects it, just like the pfg.
Advantages of mechanical splicing:
Mechanical splicing offers some advantages over the fusion splicing method. Below we have mentioned some advantages.
- There is no need for any power supply in mechanical splices.
- They can be used in situations where fusion splicing is not practical or impossible
- Mechanical joints can be made in a matter of minutes, making it ideal for temporary connections
- In most of the mechanical fiber splice designs, only fiber cleaver and fiber stripper are required, and no extra tool.
Disadvantages of Mechanical Fiber Splices:
Mechanical fiber splicers also have some disadvantages too. Below are mentioned some:
- Mechanical splices are usually for multimode fibers. Strict alignment tolerances for single-mode fibers make mechanical splices difficult to accomplish.
- Since in most of the index matching compounds, the refractive index change as per the temperature, therefore the optical performance of the mechanical splice can be sensitive to the change in temperature.
- Mechanical splice is more expensive than fusion splice. But if you take into account the expensive fusion splicing machines that require fusion splices, the average cost of mechanical splices is actually much lower than if you only do a few splices.
- The insertion loss is high. The average amount of insertion loss that happens in mechanical splice is around 0.2dB which is comparatively higher than the insertion loss that happens in fusion splice which is around 0.02dB.
- The lifetime of mechanical splicer is not that good therefore for a long period of time, fusion splicing is performed.
- Mechanical splices are only used in relatively mild environments such as inside an office building.