Sleeve Handling – A User`s Guide

Fusion Splicing Systems
260 Parkway East
Duncan, SC 29334 USA
www.afltele.com
Sleeve Handling – A User’s Guide
Notes
1) This Guide is applicable only for Fujikura® fusion splicers used in conjunction with the
following Fujikura® splice protection sleeves. Please note that sleeves are precisely engineered
components. Users should take caution when using sleeves other than those listed below, as past
performance problems have been experienced with alternative, less robust sleeves:
PID #
260514690
700074552
701152753
301175006
ITEM DESCRIPTION
SLEEVE FIBER PROTECTION SINGLE 40MM
SLEEVE FIBER PROTECTION SINGLE 60MM
SLEEVE FIBER PROTECTION MASS 40MM FP5-12
SLEEVE FIBER PROTECTION MASS FPS-24-40
AFL PART
NUMBER
S000206
S000065
S003027
S013004
2) This guide is for use with both single fibers and ribbons. The procedures and tips shown are
applicable for both. Unless otherwise noted, these terms are interchangeable in the document.
Procedure
Set the sleeve centering device to the proper length for the sleeves being used. FP-03 sleeves are
60 mm long. FP-05 and FP-03 (40mm) sleeves are 40 mm long. To do so, open the tube heater
lid, and slide the gauge indicator to match the length of the splice protection sleeve used
Move by finger
Gauge
indicator
Sleeve length
The length gauge is used later to ensure the splice is in the optimum location in the heater, and to
center the sleeve on the splice.
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Thoroughly clean the optical fiber or ribbon coating. If a citrus cleaner is used to remove the
cable gel, clean any remaining residue with an lint-free pure alcohol wipe. If the fibers are not
cleaned properly, dust and debris from the fiber ribbon coating surface can enter inside the
protection sleeve and may result in a future fiber break or attenuation increase.
Cleaning ribbons to remove debris
Note: After thoroughly cleaning the fibers to be spliced, completely clean the work area to
ensure no cable gel or contamination remains. The work area should be thoroughly cleaned
BEFORE the fusion splicer is removed from the case.
Place a protection sleeve on the right side fiber or ribbon to be spliced, as shown below.
Sliding sleeve onto ribbon
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Sleeve Handling – AFL Telecommunications
After the splice is complete, the following procedure should be used to remove the fiber from the
splicer and insert it into the tube heater.
Open the lids of the tube heater.
Open the wind protector. The splicer performs the proof test.
Grasp and hold the left fiber with the left hand at the edge of wind protector and open the lid of
left fiber holder or sheath clamp. Note: It is important to continuously hold the fiber at this
reference point until the splice has been properly loaded into the tube heater.
Keep holding the left fiber, and open the lid of the right fiber holder or sheath clamp.
Hold the left fiber with left hand at the
edge of the wind protector.
Ribbon example
Single Fiber example
Hold the left hand steady, and try to avoid pushing the fiber or fiber holders towards the
electrodes when releasing the fiber holder clamps. The resulting compressive forces will
sometimes cause the fibers to break during removal and before the splice protection sleeve is
installed. The correct method is to release the fiber holder or sheath clamp after the proof test
without pushing or pulling on the fiber holder.
Grasp the right fiber with the right hand, and remove the spliced fiber from the splicer.
While continuing to hold the fiber at the reference point with the left hand, slide the protection
sleeve near the splice with the right hand, as shown on the next page.
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Sleeve Handling – AFL Telecommunications
Slide the protection sleeve near the splice as shown below.
Sliding sleeve onto splice
Holding the fiber with the left hand, place the protection sleeve on the centering device located on
the tube heater. Slide the spliced fiber slowly to the right until the left hand reaches the edge of
the tube heater. At this point, the sleeve is centered and ready for placement in the tube heater.
Final hand position.
Sleeve is now
centered and ready
for shrinking
Starting
hand
position
Place sleeve against centering device
Slide right until left hand touches heater
Before placing the fiber into the heater, confirm that the splice point is located at the center of
the protection sleeve. Also, make sure that the strength member in the sleeve is placed
downwards. Finally, ensure that the fiber is not twisted. Any twist in the fiber can possibly
cause the fiber to break after the sleeve is shrunk down.
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Sleeve Handling – AFL Telecommunications
Transfer the fiber with protection sleeve from centering device to tube heater. Be sure to keep
tension on the fiber as it is transferred. The tube heater lids will automatically close once the
fiber presses on the lever on the right side of the tube heater.
Lever closes
lid
Transfer to heater
Heater lid closes automatically
Press HEAT to start the tube heater. The beeper beeps and the HEAT LED (orange color) turns
off when heating cycle is completed. • If HEAT is pressed during sleeve heating, the HEAT
LED blinks. If HEAT is pressed again, the sleeve heating process is aborted.
Open the tube heater lids and remove the protected fiber from the tube heater. Note that the
sleeve is very hot (over 200°F), but cools down rapidly once it is exposed to the atmosphere.
Apply only a small amount of tension to the fiber while removing it from the tube heater.
However, be careful not to twist the fiber when removing it, or to yank the fiber, as either
motion could break fibers.
In isolated cases, the sleeve may stick to bottom plate of heater. If this happens, use a cotton
swab to help remove the sleeve from the heater.
Using swab to remove sleeve from heater
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Sleeve Handling – AFL Telecommunications
Visually inspect the finished sleeve to verify no bubbles or debris/dust are present in the sleeve.
Visual inspection of finished sleeve
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Sleeve Handling – AFL Telecommunications
Troubleshooting
Following are some common problems and how to fix these problems if they are seen.
1.
Debris inside the sleeve. Debris inside the sleeve can result in an attenuation increase
or fiber break. As the sleeve shrinks, the hot melt adhesive changes to liquid and
flows around the individual fibers. Any debris in this adhesive can contact the fiber
and cause micro-bending and breaks in individual fibers. The solutions to this
problem are to thoroughly clean the ribbon before sliding on the sleeve and to ensure
that the sleeves are stored in a plastic bag to prevent debris from entering the sleeve
during storage.
Debris in finished sleeve
2.
Improper tension on the ribbons. Non-parallel fibers are caused by failure to maintain
tension on the ribbon during the heat shrink process. These may be accompanied by
an attenuation increase or broken fibers. The operator must maintain tension on the
ribbons when placing into the tube heater and lowering the clamps. The operator
must also ensure that the ribbons are not twisted when placing them into, or removing
them from, the heater.
Fibers
Bending
Non-parallel fibers
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Sleeve Handling – AFL Telecommunications
3.
Cable gel or grease inside sleeve. Cable gel or grease may have a similar effect on the
fibers as solid debris and may cause bending of the fibers in a relatively short span. The solutions
to this problem are to thoroughly clean the ribbon before sliding on the sleeve, to ensure that any
cable gel has been cleaned off the surface of the ribbon, and to not touch the ribbons once they
have been properly cleaned.
Cable gel in sleeve
4.
Sleeve splitting when heated. Although rare, this can happen due to improper tube heater
settings or because the sleeve suffered a cut or puncture before being heated. This problem can
be avoided by ensuring correct tube heater settings and by keeping the sleeves in the plastic bag
until ready for use.
Split sleeve
5.
Broken fibers but no visible cause detected. There are potentially two causes for this.
First, AFL has observed field operators “pushing” the fiber holders towards the electrodes when
releasing the fiber holder clamps. The resulting compressive forces will sometimes cause the
fibers to break during removal and before the splice protection sleeve is installed. The correct
method is to release the fiber holder clamp after the proof test without pushing or pulling on the
fiber holder. Second, broken fibers may result if the fibers are yanked or twisted when removing
the tube heater.
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Sleeve Handling – AFL Telecommunications