MicroCare Corporation - Get Rid of the Static to Improve Fiber Network Performance

Our thanks to MicroCare for allowing us to reprint the following article.

Fast, consistent and reliable cleaning is essential for a modern fiber optic network to perform up to spec. A huge proportion of network failures - perhaps as many as 80% - are due to contamination on connectors, so cleaning is critical.

Getting Rid of the Static

One source of contamination is static on an end-face. Wiping an end-face during cleaning with a dry wipe imparts an electrostatic charge to the end-face, turning it into a microscopic magnet. This end-face will attract dust from the air with surprising rapidity -- literally, in seconds.

Tests have shown that "wet-dry" cleaning is the optimal answer because it eliminates the static. In a 2007 NFOEC paper "Accumulation of Particles Near the Core During Repetitive Fiber Connector Matings and Dematings" the authors stated that "the [static] effect could be reduced by application of ionized air or by a cleaning fluid instead of a dry cleaning process, both methods neutralizing the electrostatic charge at the connector end face."...

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