2022 The Ultimate of Fiber Optic Sleeve Splice Protection Guide

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MELONTEL: Manufacture Fiber Optic Splice Protection Sleeve For Global Customers

By 2022, MELONTEL has been providing quality products and services to customers around the world for more than 27 years. During this period, the company’s engineering team and R&D team played a vital role.
Only because MELONTEL is convinced that truly good products(Fiber Optic Splice Protection Sleeve) can be recognized by the market. At present, more than 30 agents all over the world have chosen to cooperate with MELONTEL, and have obtained great rewards from it.

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Fiber Optic Splice Protection Sleeve Data Sheet

During the process of fusion splicing, operators align two optical fibers and join them together by a controlled optical glass melting.

Once the fusion splice passes the tensile strength test, it must be protected, and this is where fiber optic sleeves become useful.

This blog defines what they are, their features, classifications, applications, and more.

Melontel is a trusted company of trained experts and professionals manufacturing communication equipment through high processes and techniques.

What Is a Fiber Optic Sleeve?

5.6cm Fiber Splice Protectors 1

When two optical fibers undergo fusion splicing, the splice sleeve protects the exposed fiber and the spliced joint after the splicing process has been completed. Generally, fiber splice protective sleeves are made of cross-linked polyolefin, shrunk tubes from heating, hot and melted tubes, and a single stainless steel needle.

The materials used are specifically for fiber splice protectors, guaranteeing fiber optical closure protection. Installing the protection sleeve should be prioritized before the actual fusion splice process to prevent fiber breakage and having to start again.

Features of the Fiber Optic Splice Protection Sleeve

A fiber optic splice protection sleeve features a heat-bonded assembly with clear outer tubes to allow operators easy viewing of the fiber color. The splice protection sleeves also have reduced diameter to better fit the finished product after splicing. Other important features to look for in these protection sleeves are the following:

  • Various single and multi-fiber Fusion-Protection Sleeves options
  • Polished and rounded edges with durable and reliable stainless steel reinforcement rods
  • Has an inner EVA adhesive tube that’s meltable
  • Fungus resistant
  • With pre-shrunk ends to improve accuracy on fiber placing, reducing shrink times as well
  • Dimensional tolerances are closed

Structure and Construction

Fiber Optic Splice Protection Sleeve 1

A splice protective sleeve consists of three main parts: a hot-meltable adhesive inner tube, a reinforcing strength member in the middle portion, and a heat-shrinkable single outer tube.

Inner Tube

The inner tube is made of hot-meltable adhesive, encapsulating the fusion slice joint. It provides vibration damping and a single environmental seal to protect the optical fibers from possible contamination and damage.

Reinforced Strength Member

The second part is found outside the inner tube and is commonly made of stainless steel, non-metallic, or ceramic. Its main function is to provide better rigidity, preventing misalignment, fiber breakage, and micro bending.

Outer Tube

The last part is the outer fiber optic protection tubing, made of heat-shrinkable cross-linked polyolefin. Its main function is to provide an easy shrink force, driving the adhesive liner to all splice areas and excluding air bubbles.

How Does Fiber Optic Sleeve Work?

6cm Fusion-Protection Sleeves 1

During fusion splicing, the optical fiber undergoes melting.

The operator will use the fiber optic heat shrink sleeve to protect against the melting point when the hot-meltable adhesive innermost tube comes into contact with the melted fiber.

It also melts to allow the optical fiber joint to be tightly wrapped for sealing and filling functions.

Once the outermost tube is heated, its heat-shrinkable property allows it to shrink, wrapping the fiber joint and the reinforced strength member altogether.

Then the hot-meltable inner tube to unite them and prevent moisture while also increasing the strength of the fiber joint.

Keep on reading SC Fiber Connector.

What are splicing sleeves used for?

Fusion-Protection Sleeves 1

A fiber optic sleeve guarantees maximum protection of fusion splices and is widely used in the following applications:

  • Fiber to the home access networks
  • CATV networks
  • Telecommunication networks
  • Local area networks
  • Data communications networks

At what instance protection sleeve should be inserted in fiber?

Splicing sleeve

When utilizing fiber optic splice protection sleeves, you need to be aware of the precautions that will help prevent unnecessary loss and accidents while guaranteeing their long-term usage. Keep in mind the following:

1. There should be no air bubbles left in the protection tubes, ensuring the long-term reliability and durability of the fiber splices.

2. The operator should apply uniform tension to the fiber, allowing it to stay inside the Fusion-Protection Sleeves throughout its use.

3. When the fiber cracks increase, the tension applied to it should not be too much.

4. Avoid fiber twisting because doing this can cause unnecessary fiber loss and micro bending.

5. Always wait for the heat-shrinkable outer tube to finish shrinking, cooling, and shaping to avoid uneven heating, leading to optical fiber bending.

6. Prior to fusion splicing, fiber splice protection sleeves should be properly inspected and cleaned. Not inspecting and cleaning them beforehand can lead to easier cable attenuation and breakage.

7. Don’t attempt to install the optical fiber before the strength member or place it together with the strength member parallel to the fiber holder’s base. Doing this can exert more stress on the optical fiber, fiber holder, and protection sleeve, increasing the fiber’s insertion loss.

8. Ensure that there is no grease or cable gel inside the protection sleeve, which may cause the fibers to bend and break easily. Always make sure that you thoroughly clean the sleeves and avoid touching the fibers when you have already properly cleaned them.

Read on: The Ultimate of Fiber Optic Splicing Enclosure Guide

Types of Fiber Optic Sleeve

Splice protection sleeves generally come in two major types: single and ribbon. Below, you’ll find a comparison differentiating these two.

Keep on reading: Fiber Optic Terminal Box

Single Fiber Protection Sleeve

Single Fiber Protection Sleeve 1

A single fiber protection sleeve is mainly utilized for single-mode fibers. The reinforced strength member of this splice protector adopts stainless steel needles, reducing possible fiber damage.

Typical lengths of this type are 40mm and Fusion-Protection Sleeves 60mm. These protection sleeves also vary in sleeve color, but most consumers prefer the transparent tube to allow them to inspect the optical fiber status.

Read my article on: Fiber Distribution Box Guide

Ribbon Fiber Protection Sleeve

Dual Core Fiber Protection Sleeve 1

The other type is the ribbon fiber protection sleeve, which mainly protects multiple fiber ribbon splices. Its reinforced strength member is made of ceramic to better support the fiber splices.

Commonly, the length of ribbon fiber protection sleeves is 40mm, and fiber counts typically range from 2 to 12 in a single ribbon. Ribbon fiber protection sleeves also come in double ceramic strength member options if you need stronger protection.

The ceramic strength member ensures no electrical disturbance between the strength member and the copper material when the fiber optic application is done near a conductive type.

How to install a fiber optic splice protection sleeve?

Ribbon Fiber Protection Sleeve 1

Before performing a fusion splice, you first need to slide the sleeve onto the optical fiber. After splicing, the protection sleeve is placed over the spliced to cover the exposed joint fiber. Then, it’s placed inside a protection sleeve oven commonly built inside the fusion splicer.

Inside the protection sleeve oven, the optic sleeve is heated until it melts and shrinks around the splice. The steel rod component of the splice protection sleeves protects the fiber, preventing it from bending. They also allow environmental protection when the tubing is shrunk around the fiber, keeping elements and contaminants away from splice joints.

Why do you need fiber splice protectors?

fiber optic splice protection sleeve 2

Fiber optic cables, when spliced, become delicate and can easily fracture.

With this, they need protection to prevent breakage.

The fiber protection sleeve is designed for this exact purpose, acting as a strong coat that protects your spliced fibers from unpredictable fractures during installation or repair time.

Try for free : What is A FAST Connector Fiber Optic?

What is the different fiber sleeve size?

Fiber optic protection sleeves come in various lengths and diameters.

The outermost lengths can range from 25mm to 60mm, while the diameter from 1.2mm to 3mm.

Mini-series sleeves are also available, and they commonly have sizes 1.5mm and 2mm.

If you need smaller sleeves, there are also micro-series ones that are 1.5mm in diameter or even smaller.

Takeaway

No matter how small fusion protection sleeves are, they are essential components to the fiber optics industry, especially fusion splicing.

A fiber optic sleeve coupled with a cross-connector cabinet ensures maximum protection for your spliced and exposed fiber cables, preventing early fracture and damage.

Proper protection sleeve installation should also be done to ensure its ideal performance and accessibility, especially when placed in splice trace and holders.