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Managing Strain Relief Fibers in Fiber Optic Cables

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000019899D
Publication Date: 2003-Oct-08
Document File: 3 page(s) / 79K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed herein is a convenient article and method of providing strain relief to fiber optic cables and of providing a convenient way to handle the fiber optic cables.

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Disclosed herein is a convenient article and method of providing strain relief to fiber optic cables and of providing a convenient way to handle the fiber optic cables.

Presently, commercially available fiber optic cables are constructed using arimid strands or other types materials to provide improved tensile strength to the fiber optic cables and to provide strain relief to the fiber optic cables. In use, the loose aramid strands are placed in such a manner that they surround the optical fibers within the cable’s jacket.

Figure 3 shows one exemplary prior art fiber optic cable where a fiber optic ribbon is surrounded by strain relief fibers (e.g., by aramid strands). In one application, a step in the preparation of the cables requires removing a portion of the cable’s outer jacket, exposing the optical fibers and the strain relief fibers. In some known optical connector assemblies, the loose strain relief fibers are attached to the connector shell using items such as; metal crimp rings, binding posts, adhesives, or combinations thereof. The handling of the strain relief fibers can be difficult in that the manipulation of the loose strands is not conducive to either hand or automated assembly procedures.

This article provides one approach to solving the above-mentioned problems by providing a means to easily organize the loose strain relief fibers and attaching them to a connector body. Figure 1 is a schematic perspective view of one exemplary embodiment having a cable jacket, optical fibers covered with a buffer layer, and bundles of spaced, strain relief fibers, encapsulated in a polymer matrix (herein after referred to as the "strength member"). Through encapsulation, the strain relief fibers are now ordered in a matrix polymer array that provides for convenient handling of the strain relief fibers. Encapsulation of the strain relief fibers into polymer matrix can be done by several conventional means, such as, e.g., melt extrusion. In the melt extrusion process, the strain relief fibers are drawn through a crosshead extrusion die where melted polymer is pressure fed about the strain relief fibers. Another encapsulation method include profile die coating the strain relief fibers with an ultraviolet light curable polymer followed curing the polymer to crosslink it. Yet another encapsulation method involves laminating the strain relief fibers between two polymer films and bonding the two film...