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Tutorial of Fiber Optic Strippers

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Tutorial of Fiber Optic Strippers




As we know, a proper fiber optic termination will protect the fibers from dirt or damage while in use and prevent excessive loss of light so that makes a network run more smoothly and efficiently. There are two common used methods of fiber optic termination. One is the use of connectors that join two fibers to form a temporary joint. And the other one is splicing which connects two bare fibers directly without any connectors permanently. Before splicing, the preparation of fiber cable is very necessary, such as stripping, cleaning and cleaving etc. The fiber cable stripper plays an important role in fiber optic cable splicing process. A good quality cable wire stripper will safely and efficiently remove the outside jacket from an optical fiber cable or cable wire so that it helps you speed up the process of performing fiber network maintenance work and avoid excessive network downtime. Today, we are going to introduce the fiber optic stripper and talking about how to use it correctly.


Introduction of Fiber Optic Stripper


In a fiber cable work, especially the fiber optic termination, whether a novice or a veteran will not be strange to the fiber optic stripper. Fiber optic stripper is a typical used tool in the fiber cable termination work for better stripping. In general, fiber optic stripper can be divided into two type depending on its blade type. One is mechanical stripper, and the other is thermal stripper. A mechanical stripper is usually with V-notch to cut and strip fiber coating. Mechanical stripper is inexpensive, easy to use, thus, it is the preferred method for manually stripping fiber coating. Compared with the mechanical stripper, thermal stripper is characterize with heating element which can soften fiber coating and reduce pulling force. In addition, according to the fiber types, fiber optic strippers can also be classified as single fiber stripper and ribbon fiber stripper. Single fiber strippers only used for single fiber while ribbon fiber strippers can easily strip the PVC jacket or high-grade carbon steel construction of the ribbon cable. (Figure 1.)


stripper type

Figure 1. Fiber Optic Stripper Types

As the most common used fiber optic stripper, mechanical strippers usually includes fiber jacket stripper, loose tube stripper and the buffer & coating stripper. Fiber jacket stripper cuts and strips jackets from simplex fiber cables. The dual V-notch in this fiber optic cable stripper blade allows the quick removal of jacket material. It enables you to remove the outer jackets from 2.0-2.4mm fiber, 2.8-3.0mm fiber and 2.0-3.0mm loose tube buffer tubes. Loose tube fiber demands a precision tool capable of cutting different buffer tube diameters without nicking the enclosed fiber and the loose tube stripper is designed to achieve these demands. Buffer & coating stripper is usually used to remove 900um and 250um buffer coating. (Figure 2.)


mechanical stripper types

Figure 2. Mechanical Stripper Types


How to Strip Fiber Cable


Before stripping the cable, we must cut the cable first. It is a fairly simple step. We could simply cut through the jacket and strength members using the fiber shears included in the fiber optic termination kit. But it should be noted that optical fiber cannot be cut with regular cutters, mainly because many fiber optic cables contain aramid-yarn strength members, which are next to impossible to cut with regular cutters. Trim the cable exactly to the length that you want.

Then we begin to strip one end of the cable in the following two steps. First, strip the outer jacket, exposing the buffered fiber and the aramid-yarn strength members. Set the jacket stripper to the size recommended by the manufacturer and squeeze the handle, as the Figure 3. shows. The stripper will bite through the outer jacket only. Release the handle and remove the stripper. You should then be able to pull off the outer jacket as shown in the Figure 4.

strip a cable

Figure 3. Using a cable jacket stripper
pulling off the outer jacket of a fiber optic cable

Figure4.Pulling off the outer jacket of a fiber optic cable

The second step of stripping: carefully strip the buffer, exposing the optical fiber so you can insert it in the connector. A guide diagram on the back of the package containing the connector will show how much of the jacket and buffer to strip off. either with measurements or by a life-sized representation. The Figure 5 will show you a strip guide for a fiber optic cable. In addition, if you are stripping a relatively short cable (less than 25') without connectors on either end, tie a knot in the end of the cable opposite if the end you are trying to strip. That way, you can't pull the strenth members out of the cable while you strip it. Note that this will irreparably damage that portion of the cable, so make sure you can cut the knot out and still have enough cable. It should be noted that never strip a fiber optic cable as you would a copper cable (i.e. by twisting the stripper and pulling the stripper off with the end of the jacket). It will damage the fiber optic cable.

a strip guide for a fiber optic cable

Figure 5. A strip guide for a fiber optic cable




We Fiber-MART have talked more about the fiber optic stripper in this tutorial. The section about the introduction of the fiber optic stripper will make you more understand with the fiber optic stripper so that you could choose a suitable one for your actual applications. And the section about how to strip fiber cable is aimed to give some tips for better fiber optic stripping. We hope you have enjoyed the tutorial, and will find more interesting things on our website, eg. the tutorials or products of fiber optic tester and tools, fiber optic cables or fiber optic network etc.


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