Even if the contact zone initially is clean, static can cause dust to move from the outer zone into the contact zone. Using isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is not a best practice, according to Sticklers®, because alcohol often leaves residues. If so, your optical inspection at 200/400+ will detect it. Always, Inspect before YOU connect!
Components of a fiber optic connector are made of non-conductive materials usually plastic, ceramics, glass, and epoxies. The static charge doesn’t have a path to the ground thus it doesn’t dissipate. The charge will remain on the connector end face indefinitely and the particulate will remain locked in place until the end face is cleaned thoroughly again. A cleaned surface is impacted by an electrostatic charge by causing dust to migrate from the outer regions of the ferrule toward the ferrule apex in the contact zone.
- Wet-dry cleaning is most effective for removing most forms of contamination and eliminates electrostatic charge.
- Use optical-grade cleaning fluids that leave no residue and are fast-evaporating.
- Always clean both ends of a connector pair, and do it just before mating.
- Inspect new jumpers and patch cords right out of the bag. Inspect when they have protective dust covers too.
- Use one stick per end face to avoid cross-contamination when using Cleanstixx swabs cleaners,
- When using Cleanstixx Swabs rotate them in one direction. Normally four to five rotations are good.
- When using mechanical “push-to-clean” cleaners and cassette cleaners combine wet/dry cleaning to dissipate static
… more info see “how to” videos or
“My World” for more application notes
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