Cut to length precision glass fiber optic components are used in a number of fiber optical applications. Accu-Glass manufactures fiber optic ferrules, collimators and various types of spacers for fiber optic component manufacturers.
Fiber Optic Ferrules
Accu-Glass Fiber Optic Ferrules
Whether a single fiber is terminated at a device or joined to another fiber, a ferrule or connector of some type is commonly used. These must be high precision parts that ensure the fiber is optimally aligned. If this is not the case, the light signal will be scattered and the signal will be dampened or lost. Therefore, fiber optic ferrules perform a critical role in the use of fiber optics in today’s world.
Precision drawn borosilicate glass tubing made by Accu-Glass is used in connector ferrule applications. For example, Accu-Glass manufactures one product that has an ID (inside diameter) of 127 microns with a tolerance of ± 1 micron. The tubing can be manufactured through our conventional direct draw process or via our redraw process. The tubing can be precision cut to length using a process which employs diamond blades.
For fiber optic ferrules Accu-Glass can also use a proprietary process to form an inner funnel in one end which helps guide the fiber into the ferrule. Polishing the end of the fiber is a critical element and can greatly impact the quality of the installation.
Borosilicate glass ferrules are the ideal material for superior polishing. The Accu-Glass borosilicate glass ferrule and the glass from which fibers are constructed polish at similar rates. Therefore, the finished end of the glass and the fiber end up being smooth with minimum under cut.
Glass rods from Accu-Glass are used in specialty fiber optic connector applications to align mating fibers. In this glass connector application the precision OD (outside diameter) of Accu-Glass rods are designed into the device as an alignment fixture. Again, precision is important here in that the fibers must be accurately aligned.
Fiber Optic Glass Collimator Sleeves
Fiber optic collimator sleeves are high precision glass tubes that align other internal optical components. In some applications the fiber has a glass ferrule attached to its end and the ferrule is inserted into the collimator sleeve.
A very small lens is sometimes inserted into the end of the fiber optic collimator. Glass Collimator sleeves vary widely in terms of length based on where and how they are to function. Generally speaking, the most common length is 10 mm. Made of very high precision glass tubing, most collimator sleeves are drawn from redraw glass blanks and are usually cut to length with precision diamond saws.
Glass Spacers & Housings
There are numerous applications in fiber optics for precision glass tubing as an alignment device such as a spacer or to hold a number of other components. In many of these applications temperatures can cycle and it is important to use materials which expand at roughly the same rate as the fiber or other components. In fact, some photonics manufactures of fiber optical equipment prefer to use Accu-Glass precision components wherever possible because the coefficient of expansion for all the components is equivalent.