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Coated Optical Fibers: Highly Functional and Durable

Posted August 23, 2016 9:36 AM by SavvyExacta

Abrasive damage of optical fibers occurs when the protective coating of the fiber is scratched or scraped. This can expose or damage the integrity of the glass surface of the fiber. PEEK corrosion resistant coating (polyether etherketone) may offer a much greater resistance to abrasion than other options.

Zeus Industrial Products partnered with Luna Innovations to evaluate PEEK coating for optical fiber. The PEEK was applied using an enhanced coating process developed by Zeus. Testing was done to assess the effects of PEEK coating on signal attenuation which may result from compression stresses and other distortions induced to the fiber due to shrinkage characteristics of the coating.

PEEK, known for its ability to provide abrasion, radiation, and temperature resistance when used as a coating, was applied to a standard single-mode Nufern 155 µm polyimide R1550B-P fiber to yield a final outside diameter of 400 µm. Testing was done to compare transmission loss between the PEEK coated optical fiber and an uncoated reference fiber in three test configurations:

  • Sub-zero thermal cycling from ambient temperature to -10 °C
  • Elevated thermal cycling from ambient temperature to 240 °C
  • Testing when inducing small bend radii within the test section of the optical fiber at ambient temperature and 150 °C

Test results showed that the Zeus PEEK coated fiber performed at least as well as - and in some cases, better than - the uncoated fiber. PEEK coated optical fibers provide a coating that is abrasion resistant while maintaining a high level of functionality.

What are your thoughts on coated optical fibers?


Attend a free webinar on this topic. Key takeaways:

  • The PEEK coating introduces no significant loss or stress concentrations into the fiber
  • Temperature cycling or thermal shock does not significantly affect stability of the PEEK coated fiber
  • PEEK coated fiber shows significantly less loss at the tightest bend radius than uncoated fiber

Webinar Details:

August 24 - Wednesday (also available on-demand for 90 days after the live broadcast)

2:00 PM EDT - 2:30 PM EDT

Webinar Link

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