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How to Straighten a Piece of Fiber Optic Cable

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!

1 comment

  • 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.

    Malcolm Sokol

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