Q&A: FiberCare Lint-Free Consumables
What makes FiberCare™ Fiber Connector Cleaning Sticks superior to fabric and foam fiber optic swabs?
Their exact shapes can differ, but many fiber optic swabs on the market are built on the same basic concept: a rigid center post provides the swab with structure, and is then wrapped in soft fabric or foam, which acts as the swab’s cleaning face. This may sound like it would be an effective design for cleaning connector end faces and alignment sleeves, but in fact it be counterproductive.
To begin with, because of their rigid centers, the tips of these swabs aren’t able to completely conform to connector end faces, so they’re often guilty of “missing a spot.” And because foam and woven fabric are never free from loose particles and stray fibers, swabs made from them can actually bring more unwanted particulate to the party, instead of removing existing dust, oils and other microscopic debris.
On the other end of the spectrum are MicroCare’s FiberCare™ Connector Cleaning Sticks. Made of densely molded polymer fibers, the heads of these fiber optic connector cleaning sticks are symmetrical, particulate-free, and provide a slightly loose fit when inserted into connector alignment sleeves. This loose fit allows the fibers to spread out and spin off-center when gentle pressure is applied, so they’re able to cover the entire connector face at once.
The sintered fibers also introduce a unique wicking action to the cleaning process; instead of just wiping dirt and debris around, the polymer fibers actually work like capillaries, trapping and lifting away solvents, oils, and particulate. Connector end faces are left clean, dry and residue-free for the highest quality termination possible.
Unlike plant-based cellulose wipes that can contain glues and create lint, MicroCare’s FiberWipes™ are made of clean, lint-free hydro-entangled polyester. Since this soft and incredibly strong material can be used dry or with solvent, FiberWipes™ are ideal for Wet/Dry cleaning, and are capable of clearing optical fibers and connectors of skin oils, polishing media, dirt, dust and lint. MicroCare FiberWipes™ are optical grade, so they can also safely clean mirrors, lenses, diffraction gratings, LCD displays, prisms and test equipment in photonics applications.
I do a lot of field terminations and often carry fiber optic consumables around with me. How do I keep FiberCare’s FiberWipes™ and Fiber Connector Cleaning Sticks contaminant-free on the road?
Whether you take them into the field or just keep them sitting on your workbench, FiberCare™ FiberWipes™ and Fiber Connector Cleaning Sticks are packaged in a way that maintains product purity until you’re ready to use them.
FiberWipes™ are covered in a plastic overwrap, and then packaged in compact, rugged and spill-proof mini tub. With dimensions of just 3″ by 3″, the mini tub seals dust and moisture out, dispenses one wipe at a time, and features an octagonal “Drop-n-Stop™” lid that prevents the FiberWipes™ from rolling away should the container ever be dropped.
Fiber Connector Cleaning Sticks are sold in sets of 50. Wrapped in 5 groups of 10 sticks each, the Fiber Connector Cleaning Sticks are first enclosed in resealable plastic pouches that are color-coded according to connector type. Five of these resealable bags are then packed together in a plastic clamshell-style case, which provides an extra the sticks with an extra buffer against contaminants and the wear and tear of travel.
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