Coating, Buffer and Jacket Selection
Once system optical and mechanical requirements are understood, it is essential to consider all environmental, reliability, lifetime, and failure-mode effects. All these external considerations impact the selection of fiber coating, buffering, cabling, strength members, connector materials, strength member anchors, and other details such as external armoring, connector ruggedization etc.
Material selection impacts micro and macro-bending losses; fiber static fatigue; jacket shrinkage; fiber retention in connector ferrules or pin contacts.
Cable material selection impacts losses vs. temperature excursions or cycling as well as chemical and fire protection. Correct fiber, cable and connector material selection decisions will assure that the assembly performs over the required span of external environments and cycling and lifetime. Interactions between incorrectly selected materials over wide temperature excursions/long system lifetime can lead to performance degradation over time or premature catastrophic failure.
Finally, some assemblies are cost sensitive or only have to operate for a short time – knowing how to design ‘disposable” assemblies that designed for low cost can also add value to certain systems.
One of the most important benefits of working with Berkshire is that we have made assemblies for the widest range environmental deployments, power levels, wavelengths and as result are familiar with the range of failure modes that are possible when all factors are not carefully considered up front.
Using a structured “review and challenge” process, the team will identify risks and suggest the best combination of fiber coatings, buffers, cable jackets or other protective measures, all with the goal of decoupling the optical path from external stresses. For example, standard “telecom” fibers have been designed for high reliability in standardized telecom environments but cannot be used where tight bend radius or wider temperature swings are expected.
One must consider the possibility of fiber warming or even breakage in High power laser delivery. This Application typically requires special coatings, buffers, cable jackets – even metal armoring. Even the simplest fiber assembly must be “packaged” correctly for the environment and lifetime it will be operating in it.
UV buffer coatings; reduced thickness coatings; Hard Polymer coatings and low index claddings; Thermally cured organic coatings; metal coatings to 500°C; low bending loss coatings; special coatings for precision winding; high temperature, chemical and abrasion resistant buffers; crimp-able buffers for epoxy-less connectorization; high temperature cable jacketing; LSZH cables; FIMT and spiral-wrap SS cable armoring; metal, ceramic and plastic connectors can all be combined to package the ideal fiber selection.
Product Focus – Berkshire focuses on single and multifiber assemblies that have challenging, optical, mechanical, environmental, and lifetime requirements or combinations of all four. Assemblies for spectroscopy and sensing in high temperature or harsh environments; delay and dispersion coils with high stability and small form factor; high power laser delivery fibers with damage resistant input terminations, tight bending radius, and output beam shaping; multi-fiber bundles with radiation hardened or sensitive fibers; metal coated fibers with high temperature terminations.
Contact Us at 860-868-0081 to discuss your Application’s environmental deployment, chemical resistance, mechanical stresses or other packaging related challenges – Berkshire Engineers Solutions.