Fiber Cleaver is an extremely essential equipment used in the optical fiber field for low reflectance and low damage fiber optic splices, particularly when using already polished connectors with internal splices.
But before giving a better and broader definition and clean explanation about this equipment, it is important to understand what is cleave and what is the cleaving process, to understand better why the fiber cleaver is important and why we need it.
In the optical fiber field, cleave is an intentional and calculated break, with the intention to produce a completely perfect flat end face and perpendicular to the optical fiber axis or with a well-defined angle against the optical fiber axis. This sufficiently perpendicular and planar fiber end face can be achieved via the fiber cleaving process.
The cleaving process is the standard method used to precisely break (cut) an optical fiber for termination or splicing. It begins with making a really small fracture on the side of the optical fiber, with a sharp diamond, or carbide, before or while some defined tension is applied to the optical fiber. This causes the fiber to break, starting at the mentioned fracture point: the fracture propagates quickly over the full cross-section of the optic fiber. The cleaving often leads to a very clean surface of the two fiber parts obtained. The equipment that is mostly used in the cleaving process is the fiber cleaver.
Fiber cleaver is a device or equipment that detains the optical fiber cable under low tension, marking the surface in the appropriate place, and then applies a great amount of tension until the optical fiber fragments.
Good fiber cleavers are usually automatic and give persistent results regardless of the operator. When using a good cleaver, you basically just need to clamp the optical fiber inside the cleaver and turn off the operation system, and then the fiberglass is automatically cut.
But there are also fewer automatic and mechanical cleavers. When using these type of cleavers, the operator needs to apply force manually to break the optical fiber cable, which makes it hard to manage the right amount of force needed to break the optical fiber.
By using a good fiber cleaver in the cleaving process, the optical fiber is broken in a smooth way, and in that way the fiber will have a clean surface, perpendicular to the fiber axis, with no protruding glass in the fiber end.
Types of fiber cleaver
There are a variety and types of fiber cleavers on the market, ranging from scribe or manual cleavers to high-precision cleavers.
The manual or scribe cleavers are the original type of fiber optic cleaver, and are reasonably lower in price if compared with the precision cleaver. These cleavers are normally designed in pen-shaped, diamond-tipped wedges, or even designed in tile-shaped squares.
The manual or scribe cleaver tips are usually made out of carbide or diamond, which makes it sharp and hard enough to be used to scratch the optical fiber manually. After that, the operator can take the optical fiber and break it. The breaking process is made manually and controlled by the operator. As a result, the cleaving is less precise and accurate. Because of this inconvenience, this type of cleaver is less favorable for technicians to use in their work.
High Precision Cleavers
Precision cleavers are accurately and precisely cleaving equipment. A precision cleaver is usually designed with a diamond or tungsten blade, which produces the incision on the optical fiber. Then the tension is applied to the optical fiber and the cleaved end face is produced. One of the advantages of precision cleavers is that it can create repeatable cleaves across many cleaves by only rotating the blade.
Despise the fact, being more expensive than the manual cleaver, the precision cleaver had the ability to accurately and efficiently cut multiple optical fibers in a short amount of time.
Nowadays, precision cleaver is developed to support several splicing works. Precision cleavers are designed to fusion, splice the standard of 125/250um and 125/900um optical fibers, and produce optical fiber to several already polished connectors.
Features of the high precision fiber cleaver:
Most high-precision cleavers produce a cleave angle deviation typically <0.5° with very high reliability and low scattering under on-side conditions. One-step cleaving operations are a reality now with cleavers. Fiber clamping, bending, scratching and cleaving with a single action.
Diamond blade presents the highest cleave quality and can last over 10,000 cleaves. They are even adjustable for cleaving fibers with increased tensile strength, e.g. titanium-coated fibers.
It is easy to cleave an 80um diameter fiber, possible to cleave a 125um diameter fiber, and usually difficult to cleave >200um fibers. To some extent, the difficulty in cutting these fibers is due to the fact that the fiber material is not crystalline. Torsion will again produce a non-perpendicular end face. In fact, most commercially available angle cleavers rely on torsion. The end face angle is proportional to the amount of torsion.
How do you choose the best fiber cleaver for you?
The fiber cleaver produced for fusion splicing usually needs an angle of one degree or less. While cleavers suitable for mechanical connectors usually need angles of less than three degrees. Therefore, you should know whether you need a single-fiber or multi-fiber cleaver before cutting the fibers all at once.
If you plan on purchasing built-in cleavers, that are cleavers built-in the splicer machines, you should do an inspection of the cleaver and the splicer, to check if they need any kind of maintenance. If one loses any essential tools, this type of machine can cause inconvenience during the cleaving process.
Nowadays, there are numerous types of fiber cleaver available on the market. With the continuous development of the fiber cleaver, the cleavers now have improved technology features and many automatic mechanisms. By buying the latest updated cleaver, you may be able to increase your labor productivity in less time.
Conclusion: Optical fiber cleaver is very important
In the field of fiber splicing, fiber cleavers are an indispensable equipment that allows precise splicing of optical fibers. It is the quality of the cleaver that ensures good quality in the splicing process. Having a qualified fiber cleaver improves cleaving precision and efficiency. Splicer Market offers all kinds of fiber tools, including high-precision fiber cleavers and high-quality fiber splicers.