SPARTANBURG, S.C., Feb. 2, 2011 — AFL has introduced three fiber optic tools: a polyimide fiber coating stripper, an optical fiber automatic preparation machine and an optical fiber cleaver. With polyimide-coated optical fiber now widely used in the oil/gas and medical industries, the coating requires additional care to remove. The PCS-100 polyimide fiber coating stripper uses a mechanical stripping method, providing a safe, consistent and quick solution. A razor blade is applied to the fiber with specific tension, and the coating is precisely planed along the fiber automatically. The process takes less time than the conventional methods of acid or heat. Because hot acid is not used, the operation is much safer, and fiber quality degradation is kept at a minimum because the glass surface is not damaged by oxidization of the coating during burning or arcing. Many parameters, such as the razor blade position and stroke, and the fiber rotation angle are adjustable for various fiber sizes and coating materials. The APM-100 automatic preparation machine performs all the steps required to prepare optical fibers before splicing, automatically and consistently. This includes stripping the fiber without degrading its quality, cleaning it with alcohol to remove coating residue and cleaving consistently at a right angle to the fiber axis. The entire process is complete in as little as 18 s. Main components in the machine are automatically cleaned allowing a continuous sequence of 100 fiber preparation operations. With the automatic residue collector, coating residue and glass scraps are collected in separate containers. At least 100 fiber preparation operations can be performed without emptying the scrap collectors. Alcohol for cleaning is circulated in a closed system to enable a lengthy refill-free operation. A diamond blade is used for cleaving and provides consistent quality. Contact of the stripping blade with the fiber is prevented using guides in conjunction with the blade. This minimizes damage to the fiber during the stripping process. The operating height provides ergonomic, smooth and simple operation. The CT-100 optical fiber cleaver offers adjustability and versatility for various fiber types and applications, while providing good cleaving performance. The motorized diamond blade touches the fiber after tension has been applied. Large-diameter fiber with up to 250-µm cladding diameter can be cleaved. Tension applied to the fiber can be adjusted for optimum cleaving conditions for various fibers. Toggle clamps are equipped on both the left and right fiber ends to apply consistent tension. The fiber twisting angle is adjustable to set the torsion properly for the target cleave angle. A cleave counter is provided so users know the number of cleaves that have been performed. Operators can use this feature to determine blade adjustment and replacement timing. The fiber clamping stage is movable, and cleave length can be adjusted from 3 to 40 mm. The internal battery slot allows battery operation using four AA batteries, and the cleaver can also be operated using an AC/DC adapter.