How to Straighten a Piece of Fiber Optic Cable

2 comments by Michael Groves

Have you ever tried to straighten a piece of fiber optic cable?

If you go on the web you will find examples of straightening fibers using hot air guns. I have tried this method, but it is very easy to melt the fiber by mistake!. So I decided to try using hot water as an alternative. I put together and the ray of aluminum tubes with an internal diameter similar to that of the fiber I wanted to straighten. I then inserted fibers in those tubes and placed the assembly into almost boiling water.

Removing them after 10 seconds I put them under cold water. Upon removing the fibers they were found to be remarkably straight. This method works!!

Why is this a useful technique? Fibers are typically placed onto a roll straight after manufacturing. This provides the fiber with a permanent bend. However, there are times when this may be a nuisance. An example is when inserting fibers into a building to provide lighting. Instead of standing up vertically, they will naturally want to curl over. There are several solutions to this. One is to insert the fiber into a rod - such as a plastic coffee stirrer, similar to those found in coffee shops. This works very well and I have used this often. A great alternative is to straighten the fibers to be used using the hot water method described above. Insert them through a small hole in your project and they will remain vertical.

Also check out the video of the process here!


  • Sharon sigler

    My husband was at the York show. He got some fiber optic from you. He wants to know the name of the transparent paint you use, also where to purchase it?

  • Malcolm Sokol

    I tried your straightening tip and it works great. How do you put a permanent tight bend in the cable?
    Malcolm Sokol
    PS I have not forgot about the photos for you, I have recently added more fiber optics and I need to take more photos. Will send them soon.

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