Ceramic Ferrule are the core components of fiber optic connectors.
The Optical Fiber Connector
Optical fiber connectors are indispensable passive components in optical fiber communication systems. They are mainly used to achieve the precise butt joint of two non-permanent end faces between equipment, equipment and instrumentation, equipment and optical fiber, and optical fiber and optical fiber in the system. Coupling the optical energy output from the transmitting fiber to the receiving fiber to the maximum.
Most fiber optic connectors consist of three parts: two mating plugs (ferrules) and a coupling sleeve. Two ferrules are installed in the two ends of the optical fiber; the coupling sleeve plays the role of alignment, and the sleeve is usually equipped with a metal or non-metal flange to facilitate the installation and fixation of the connector.
The quality of the ferrule directly affects the precise center docking of the two optical fibers. Ferrules are made of ceramic, metal or plastic. Ceramic ferrule is widely used, the main material is zirconium dioxide, which has the characteristics of good thermal stability, high hardness, high melting point, wear resistance, high processing accuracy and so on.
Process of ceramic ferrule
Since the blank of the ceramic ferrule contains a small hole of 0.1mm, and the requirements for the size concentricity are very high, it is only possible through ceramic injection molding (Ceramic Injection Molding) technology. The ceramic ferrule manufacturing process is divided into two parts, that is, blank manufacturing and precision machining. First, the yttrium-stabilized nano-zirconia powder raw material is specially processed, which is injected into a special mold after granulation, and then sintered into The blank, the second part is a series of precision grinding to achieve sub-micron level processing accuracy, so as to obtain a ceramic ferrule with good rigidity and high precision.
The premise basis for the production of precision ceramic ferrules is the supporting use of precision ceramic ferrules and ceramic ferrules (PIN pins). Optical fiber ceramic ferrules are manufactured using the following advanced process technologies:
1. Nano-zirconia powder injection molding material formula and forming process technology;
2. Slim micro-hole forming technology with an inner hole diameter of 0.125mm and a length of 12-15mm;
3. Precision ceramic processing technology with accuracy error of 0.1μm;
4. Submicronized process control method for sintered grains;
5. Low-loss optical communication components with insertion loss ≤0.2dB and return loss ≥40dB.
In order to make the end faces of the two optical fibers better contact, the ferrule end faces are usually ground into different structures, and different ferrule end faces affect the loss performance of the connector. PC, APC, UPC represent the front surface structure of ceramic ferrule.
PC is Physical Contact. PC is a microsphere grinding and polishing, the surface of the ferrule is ground into a slight spherical surface, and the fiber core is located at the highest point of bending, so that the two fiber end faces reach physical contact;
APC (Angled Physical Contact) is called beveled physical contact, and the end face of the fiber is usually ground into an 8 ° bevel. The 8 ° angle bevel makes the fiber end face tighter, and reflects light through its bevel angle to the cladding instead of returning directly to the light source, providing better connection performance.
UPC (Ultra Physical Contact). UPC is based on PC to optimize the end surface polishing and surface finish, and the end surface looks more domed. The connector connection needs to have the same end structure. For example, APC and UPC cannot be combined together, which will cause the connector performance to decline.
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