How to Splice Rollable Ribbon in the Data Center

Mike Cooper June 17, 2020

Rollable-Ribbon-OFS - 360x203The integration of new technology is often a challenging proposition, even if the benefits are well worth it. However, adapting to new advancements in fiber optics – like rollable ribbon – doesn’t have to be.

Rollable ribbon offers benefits that clearly justify the time it takes to learn how to properly splice it. In data centers where fiber optic cables are starting to fill pathways, deploying rollable ribbon can be an effective method of saving space. It is also flexible, like a distribution cable, making it more durable and less susceptible to breaks. Moreover, rollable ribbon splices just like matrix – 12 fibers at a time.

Fusion Splicing Process

You can easily splice rollable ribbon fiber to other rollable ribbon, and you can splice it to other matrix fiber optic cable. You would complete all of the same steps you normally would in setting up a fusion splicer such as selecting the fiber type, setting the heat shrink oven time and performing the arc test. In addition, the prep for stripping, cleaning and cleaving the fiber is identical. As technicians become comfortable with rollable ribbon, some are using ribbonizing adhesive to ensure proper alignment in the v-grooves. If, and only if, you are experiencing issues loading the fiber into the V-Grooves, this blog offers some helpful tips below.

CLICK TO TWEET:  Deploying rollable ribbon can be an effective method of saving space in a data center. CommScope’s Michael Cooper explains in this blog.

Helpful Tips

If you are experiencing issues loading the fiber into the v-grooves, this could be due to the rollable ribbon fiber being partially bonded together. It may be easier to splice if the fiber is ribbonized. There are two ways to ribbonize the fiber. Before stripping:

  • Apply a small amount of ribbonizing adhesive to a lint free wipe. Draw the ribbon through the adhesive once or twice to evenly coat the ribbon. Then allow it to dry for 20-30 seconds before stripping the fiber. Strip, clean and cleave the fiber in the same fashion that you would matrix fiber.
    • Issues with ribbonizing glue:
      • Expensive
      • Might not be readily available in channel
      • Can’t take it with you on a flight, as it is highly flammable
      • Can be very messy
    • A conventional extra strength glue stick is a much better option. Draw the ribbon over the top of an all-purpose glue stick. Then allow it to dry for 20-30 seconds before stripping. Strip, clean and cleave the fiber in the same fashion that you would matrix fiber.

About the Author

Mike Cooper

Mike Cooper supports CommScope's global Multi-tenant Data Center team as a field application engineer. He assist clients who are building the next generation of networks to ensure they have a positive experience working with CommScope. Mike started his career in 1993 working for a data/comm contractor in the Chicagoland area.  From there, he worked in distribution and finally was a partner in a manufacturer representative agency before coming to CommScope.  Mike has been with CommScope since 2004.  Mike graduated with an MBA from Lake Forest Graduate School of Business in 1999.  Mike obtained his BICSI RCDD certification in 2006, the NTS certification in 2009 and the DCDC certification in 2014. 

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Enterprise Networks