How to Cut a Fiber Optic Cableby Jeremiah Blanchard
Fiber optics have revolutionized communication. The first fiber optic application or ideology was based upon a theory presented by Alexander Graham Bell in the late 1800s--that light could carry voice recordings through the use of wiring. In the late 1970s, Corning Glass Works created minute glass tubing that could be used as a wave-guide to transmit information using light. The use of these fiber optics spread widely across the U.S. during the 1980s and virtually all conventional copper cables were replaced in the telecommunications industry by the mid-1990s. Cutting fiber optic cables is much like cutting conventional cables, with only a slight difference.
Remove the outer wire jacket. Take a sharp blade or wire strippers and cut through the jacket material, only then pull off the jacket. There will be Kevlar fibers protruding, as well as two or three individually coated wires, along with glass fiber tubing after the jacket has been removed.
Twist the Kevlar fibers into a rope-like strand with your fingers. Snip the Kevlar fibers using metal scissors.
Score the glass tubing slightly with a box-cutter or sharp knife. Scoring is basically making a scratch across the glass tubing where you want the cut made.
Hold the cable between your fingertips on the point where you scored the glass tubing. Bend the exposed glass tubing slightly and it should break off cleanly. Snip the remaining wires using regular wire cutters.
- Wear gloves to avoid getting glass fibers on the skin. This can cause irritation.
- Do not attempt to snip the glass tubing. This will make the glass fracture along the length of the tube and render the cable unusable.