When it comes to fiber optic splicing having a good understanding of what it is and how it works is very crucial especially for organizations and fiber optic technicians who are involved in LAN networking projects as well as the telecommunication industry.
To put in simple terms, the process of combining two fiber optic cables together is usually referred to as fiber optic splicing. There are also other ways in which this can be achieved apart from using fiber optic splicing and these are connectorization or termination. Fiber optic splicing which can be done through two methods that is fusion splicing and mechanical splicing is usually the most preferred in situations where there is need to join two different types of cable together or in circumstances where the cables run are too long for a single length fiber as it usually result into lower back reflection as well as light loss. In situations where fiber cables which buried get spoilt or are accidentally severed, one can use fiber optic splicing to restore the fiber optic cable.
In this article I will focus on the two most common methods of fiber optic splicing, fusion splicing and mechanical splicing. For organizations or individuals who are starting out with fiber optic splicing I advice that you first of all consider your long term goals before settling on any of the fiber optic splicing methods.
In fusion splicing there is machine which is used to align the ends of two fibers precisely, the two glass ends are welded or fused together by use of a heat or an electric arc. By effectively implementing the above you will be able to cut down on the loss of light transition thanks to the continuous connection which has been established between the fibers.
This basically refers to alignment of devices by mechanical splices which have been designed in such a way that they are able to hold ends of two fibers in a position which is precisely aligned enabling light to be able to pass from one fiber to the other. With mechanical splicing you usually get a loss of 0.3 dB.
When it comes to choosing a fiber optic splicing method the one thing which usually has a huge saying is economics, generally mechanical splicing usually has a very low initial investment which might range from around 1,000 to 2,000 us dollars. That said it��s also good to note that with mechanical splicing you will be required to handle and deal with the costs per splice which usually costs around 12 – 40 us dollars.
With Fusion splicing you will be receiving a lower cost per splice which is usually between $0.05 and $1.50. In addition to that it is good to note that with fusion splicing you will be required to dig deep into your pockets for its initial investment, to put it clearly an initial investment for fusion splicing depending on features and accuracy of the splicing machine that you intend to use is usually between $15,000 and $50,000. With fusion splicing the more accurate you want the result to be in-terms of better alignment the more money you will have to pay up as its initial investment.
With cost benefits out of the way I move to performance of the two fiber optic splicing method and I will start by indicating that based on the industry you are working with the performance of this two splicing methods may vary. Due to the fact that the resulting points from fusion splicing are almost seamless, fusion splicing tends to produce less back reflection as well as lower light loss. The other difference to note when it comes to these two methods of splicing is that with fusion splicing are usually used with single mode fiber while mechanical spicing usually are used with both multi mode fiber as well as single mode fiber.
In today��s world there is an increase in the number of telecommunication companies as well as CATV companies who are willing and ready to invest their time and money on fusion splicing for their single mode networks which are usually long haul. The same organizations also tend to put into use mechanical splicing for their short, local cable runs. Given that for optimal performance video signals usually require minimal reflection, fusion splicing has managed to remain the first choice for many.