Connector Maintainence and Cleaning Instructions
Clean and dust free interfaces of fiber optic connectors and adaptors are of utmost importance. The core of a single mode fiber just 8 microns, carries majority of it’s light. Any misalignment or blockage of this tiny aperture can result in high losses. During mating of connector spring forces are used to maintain the physical contact between the fibers. Any dirt particle trapped between can not only result in higher loss but can potentially scratch the fiber resulting in permanent damage.
For connectors the outside surface as well as the tip of the ferrule should be cleaned.
While mating with an adaptor about which storage conditions are not known, it is important to clean the adaptor first.
Cleaning should be done using a soft lint free cloth like kimwipes moistened with Iso propyl alcohol(IPA).
Ensure that body oils, salt etc. Of the operator do not come into contact with the surface of the ferrule.
Use compressed and filtered air (5 micron or less) afterward to dislodge any dust or tissue fragments.
Precautions need to be taken with regards to the quality of cleaning tissues and compressed / canned air. Poor quality of wand (tissues may leave fibre of paper inside) or unfiltered air may end up contaminating the adapter.
Use only lab or reagent grade of Iso propyl alcohol with at-least 99% purity. Commercial IPA is often diluted using water and /or mineral oils.
It advisable to use spray type of alcohol dispensers to dampen the tissue. In such manner debris from the wand will not flow back to the reservoir.
Caution:
Optical power of 1 watt being transmitted through a 9 micron core can reach intensity of 30 giga watts /m2 , enough to damage the retina permanently. DO NOT LOOK INTO A CONNECTOR OR FIBER THAT IS LIVE.
Do not use any dry tissue or chemical including iso propyl alcohol on any connector live with laser power. Combustion or micro explosion can result causing grievous personal injury and can damage the connector permanently.