Fiber optic cable polishing FAQ's

19.10.20 03:33 PM Por MELISSA URTEAGA

What to do (and what NOT to do) in your fiber optic cable polishing process?

The Fiber Optic Center team has compiled a series of questions that have been asked
the correct polishing of fiber optic assemblies.
Here is a brief summary of them, if you want to read the full post go to the FOC blog

The polishing process is a very important step in the manufacture of fiber optic cable assemblies. The correct performance of this activity ensures that the connectors meet geometric parameters, industry specifications, and/or customer requirements. 

That's why we're introducing three frequently asked questions about polishing connectors resolved by the Fiber Optic Center team. 

How to prevent polishing film from moving?

It is common to find polishing processes where the film slides or exits the pad. 

Let's keep in mind that to provide uniform polishing, the film should never move on the polishing pad, 
because if it moves it is not achieving anything
The main factor to review is the correct adherensia of the pad. 

You must ensure that the glossy surface is absolutely clean. It can be helped by a lint-free wipe and isopropyl alcohol (IPA). 

It is also important to remove any air bubbles that may result. 
If your process requires a glass plate, you can apply a thin film of liquid to create adhesion. 

A combination of isopropyl alcohol and distilled water gives results, although it does not generate much adhesion strength, so it is important to remove all air bubbles. 

How much water should be used as a lubricant?

When polishing fiber optic connectors on a fixed plate, water is used as a lubricant in the laping film. 
How water is applied, and how much to apply, should be determined when establishing your process.
1.- The common denominator in the industry is to use a mixture of distilled water with deionized water.

In other cases, mixtures of distilled water with isopropyl alcohol are found. 
Even some processes use solutions with liquid detergent and water. 

2.- When determining the amount of water to spray some companies opt for the option of a bottle with atomizer, however this may wet unwanted parts. 

Therefore a spray dispensing gives a result of fine and uniform coverage. 

3.- The consequence of using too much water is to flood the polishing plate, which will cause the pad to start slipping. 

Quality polishing machines currently on the market block the pads, preventing them from turning, no matter how much water leaks under them.

It is important to mention that even if some companies perform dry polishing it is not recommended. 

There are currently equipment that allows a dispensing of 1 to 2 drops per second or even constant flow. 

To analyze the equipment that benefits your process, contact a Repstronics specialist at

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Phone: (33) 3122 0999