Cleerline says Non-Strip Fiber reduces costs, eases fiber installation

Cleerline Technology Group, an offshoot of D’Addario & Company, Inc. (yes, the people who make guitar strings, among other things), is offering a new type of fiber designed to ease installation, reduce costs, and improve performance. Thanks to a proprietary, patented coating technology, the company’s “Non-Strip Fiber” (NSF) obviates the need to strip off the acrylate buffer coating found on typical fibers when connectorizing in the field.

Cleerline Technology Group, an offshoot of D’Addario & Company, Inc. (yes, the people who make guitar strings, among other things), is offering a new type of fiber designed to ease installation, reduce costs, and improve performance. Thanks to a proprietary, patented coating technology, the company’s “Non-Strip Fiber” (NSF) obviates the need to strip off the acrylate buffer coating found on typical fibers when connectorizing in the field.

According to company principal Rob D’Addario, Cleerline developed the coating technology as a way to make fiber easier for technicians to handle when performing mechanical splicing. Instead of the acrylate buffer coating, the Cleerline coating enables the use of a “soft peel identifier” layer on the fiber’s exterior that a technician can remove with his or her fingernails. (The company offers a video demonstration on YouTube.) The technician does not need to clean the exposed fiber with alcohol, as the Cleerline coating remains in place. The fact that the NSF does not require a tool for stripping also reduces the risk of fiber damage and shortened lifetime. Overall, the technology reduces the time required to attach a mechanical connector by 50% to 80%, D’Addario asserted.

The coating provides the extra benefit of promoting bend-insensitivity, D’Addario added. Cleerline offers the fiber in both standard singlemode and OM3 multimode variants. The singlemode fiber version offers bend performance commensurate with ITU-T G.657 A2 and B2; the multimode fiber version complies with IEC 60793 A1a and ITU-T G.651.1.

Despite the lack of a standard acrylate buffer coating, the fibers come in standard sizes, 50/125-micron for the multimode fiber and 9/125-micron for the singlemode. D'Addario said the NSF currently is more expensive than typical conventional fibers; he did not provide further pricing details.

Cleerline introduced the NSF in cabled form this past April and targeted it at the audio/visual market. However, D’Addario said the company has subsequently seen interest in the fiber for other applications, including enterprise networks, fiber to the home (FTTH) drop cables, and in-home networking. This has led the company to consider development of other fiber types – although D’Addario remarked that the company has its hands full meeting the demand for its two current fiber offerings.

For more information on optical fiber and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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