How to Use and Maintain The Fusion Splicing More Efficiently?


What is Fusion Splicer?

Fusion splicer may be the act of joining two optical fibers end-to-end using heat. The thing is to fuse both the fibers together in such a way that light passing with the fibers is not scattered or reflected back from the splice, and thus the splice, as well as the region surrounding it, are almost as strong because of the virgin fiber itself. The basic fusion splicer apparatus includes two fixtures which the fibers are mounted and two electrodes. Inspection microscope assists in the placement in the prepared fiber end into a fusion-splicing apparatus. The fibers they fit into the apparatus, aligned, and then fused together.

Initially, fusion splicing used nichrome wire as the heating unit to melt or fuse fibers together. New fusion-splicing techniques have replaced the nichrome wire with fractional co2 lasers, electric arcs, or gas flames to heat the fiber ends, causing them to fuse together. The little size of the fusion splice along with the development of automated fusion-splicing machines make electric arc fusion the most popular splicing approaches to commercial applications.

Fusion splicers are automatic machines that you need to either choose factory recommended settings or you set the splicing parameters yourself.  There are five basic steps to fusion splicing with a splicing machine.

1. Put on the fusion splice protection sleeve.

2. Strip the fiber. Strip back all fiber coatings down to the 125um bare fiber. Clean the bare fiber with 99% isopropyl alcohol.

3. Cleave the fiber. The fiber needs to be cleaved with a high precision cleaver. Most splicing machines come with a recommended cleaver. Fiber cleaving is a very important step as the quality of the splice will depend on the quality of the cleave.

4. Put the fibers into the fiber holders in the fusion splicer. Press the start button to start the fusion splicing

5. Heat shrink the protection sleeve to protect the splicing joint.

The most common parts of a fiber fusion splicer include Electrodes and V-Grooves. Fusion splicers are dependent upon high-quality electrodes to focus that critical arc of electricity. As the electrodes wear from use, electrodes gradually are worn and lead to weaker splices and higher splice losses. Cleaning electrode is part of the essential maintenance of fusion splicer and will not restore the performance of the fusion splicer as electrodes need to be replaced.

Always replace fusion splicer electrodes as a pair. For optimal performance, electrodes should also be aligned when they are replaced. This is a tuning process to maximize the performance of your splicer.

Maintained Methods of Fusion Splicer Parts

1. Electrical welding electrode life is generally about 2000, after a long time the electrode will be oxidized, resulting in the discharge current is too large leaving the splice loss value increases. You can remove the electrodes, medical cotton wool dipped in alcohol to gently wipe and then install the fusion splicer, and discharge cleaned once. If repeated washing, the discharge current is still too large, it shall replace the electrode.

Replace the electrode first remove the protection of the electrode chamber cover, loosen the screws fixed on the electrode and remove the upper electrode. Then release the top wire fixed to the lower electrode, remove the lower electrode. Installation of new electrode opposite action of the demolition order, require two electrode tip clearance: 2.6 ± 0.2mm, with the optical fiber symmetry. Under normal circumstances, the electrode is not required to be adjusted. Not touch the tip of the electrode in the replacement process, prevent damage, and should avoid the electrodes to fall inside the machine. After replacing the electrode, carry out calibration of the arc position.

Fiber Optic Fusion Spare Electrodes

Care of the electrode used for a long time, the tip of the electrode will produce sediment discharge poor, then there will be a “hissing” sound, then need to clean the electrode. The recommended the regular welding machine electrodes care that clean the electrode.

2. 4 clean V-shaped groove welding machine tune the core direction of the upper and lower driving range each only tens of microns, slightly foreign body will make the fiber image deviation from the normal position, resulting in normal alignment. At this time the need for timely clean the V-groove:

A. Off the windshield of the welding machine.

B. Open the fiber optic pressure head and the clamping platen.

C. Stick with a cotton swab dipped in anhydrous alcohol (or sharpened toothpick) single wipe in a V-Groove Fiber Aligner.

Note: Avoid using hard objects to clean the V-groove or V-groove on the force, to avoid bad V-groove or V-groove inaccurate, resulting in the instrument can’t properly use.

Proper use of Fusion Splicer is to reduce an important guarantee of the optical fiber splice loss and key links. You always should be strictly in accordance with the instructions of the welding machine and operational procedures. And properly set the welding parameters according to the type of fiber (including pre-discharge current, time and the main discharge current, the main discharge time). Do as above, the working life of your fusion splicer certain can be longer.


Despite the advances in fiber and fusion splicing technology, there are still many aspects of splicing of which practitioners must remain aware. Differences in fibers, equipment, environment, and technique can yield different splice loss results. It is important to learn how to use and maintain the fusion machine more efficiently.

Here are some guidelines for splicing contractors and technicians.

Follow the applicable equipment manufacturer’s guidelines for setup and maintenance of all splice equipment. All fusion splicer has maintenance requirements which should be described in the operating manual. Besides cleaning regularly, they require electrode alignment and occasional replacement. Follow the manufacturer’s requirements for servicing.

Maintain clean equipment and a clean splice environment, being especially wary of windy and/or dusty conditions.

Use the fusion splicer’s estimated splice loss reading as an initial go/no-go evaluation of the splice.

Splice loss specifications should be set with the total link power budget in mind and be based on average splice loss.

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