Generally, Specialty fibers are fibers that do NOT comply with single-mode and multimode communication fiber standards. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) standards are widely adopted for single-mode. The US-based Telecommunications Industry Association’s Fiber Optics Tech Consortium (TIA FOTC) standards are widely adopted for multimode. MultiMode fiber specifications are standardized by the International Organization for Standardization’s International Electrotechnical Commission (ISO-IEC).
In both cases, “widely adopted” means that the fiber specifications are used by fiber and cable manufacturers and companies that make components, connectors, and other products that interface with the fibers. These fiber standards are also referenced in standards for local area networks, telecom systems, and other infrastructure. e.g. The following fiber standards specify geometric, physical, and optical properties below.
Communication fibers are designed to transmit a modulated optical signal at specific wavelengths. The fiber design is optimized for low loss and modal properties that support distance and bandwidth requirements. By stark contrast, Specialty fibers are fibers that do NOT comply with single-mode and multimode communication fiber standards.
Corning’s suite of high-index fiber is used across telecommunications, aerospace, and industrial markets in applications such as wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) couplers, splitters, and pump pigtails.
Advantages of Specialty Optical Fibers
Optical fibers play a critical role in many industries, particularly in telecommunications. They are replacing copper metal wire due to their many advantages. Optical fibers are thinner than metal wire, lightweight, and non-flammable because no electricity is passed through them. These flexible fibers can be used in digital cameras for medical, mechanical, and investigative imaging. Optical fibers can perform with low power and have a higher carrying capacity than metal wires. Since optical fibers use light signals there is less signal degradation and the fibers can carry digital signals.
Insertion loss (IL) and return loss (RL) measurements are not as demanding for specialty fiber applications e.g. medical, spectroscopy, and industrial. Thereupon, SMA interconnects are appealing because testing assemblies are largely limited to visual inspection and insertion loss resulting in lower production costs. On average, SMA core sizes vary from 125um to 1200um. Most often the devices available for surface geometry and inspection analysis are limited to a 250um view which is required by IEC/Telcordia standards. This is changing but currently, most available instruments cannot measure the larger area of concern therefore no standards are needed.
Conversely, IL and RL are critical to most telecommunication industry applications. Hence, we have the more popular optical fiber connectors SC, LC, ST, and MT Fiber Arrays used in Telecommunication applications. Optical fiber connectors are used to join optical fibers where a connect/disconnect capability is required. Due to the polishing and tuning (concentricity and eccentricity) procedures may be incorporated into optical connector assembly manufacturing. Also, assembly and polishing operations can be performed in the field, for example, to terminate long runs at a patch panel.
**when you use … Sticklers® CleanClicker Cleaners and CeanStixx Swabs works best with the Sticklers® Fiber Optic Splice and Connector Cleaner cleaning fluid (#POC03M)
*** Remember … Stubborn debris, dirt contamination, and oils, all respond to Wet/Dry applications. Scratches, pits, and cracks do NOT.
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