Learning the Different Coating Stripping Methods

The cladding power stripper also referred to as the multimode optical power stripper is designed for amplifier applications and high power fiber laser. It is an ideal device  for ASE, residual pump power stripping, core modes that have escaped from double cladding fibers inner cladding while ensuring preservation of single power minimal degradation and beam quality (M2). Single power that is reflected into the inner cladding may also be stripped out too.  The handling capability of the stripping power goes to 800W or at times may be even higher

Stripping the Coating

The fibers that most reputable companies supply all come with a standard  acrylate single layer coating or, in some such as the high power products, a coating that is high temperature enduring. In comparison to dual layer coatings, the coatings that are single layer are more brittle and smooth. The coating can be removed readily using the conventional tools for fiber stripping such as the Fitel S-210 Clauss or CFS-1 for 125 μm cladding diameter fiber or for larger cladding diameters the Clauss No Nik stripper is used. For fibers whose outer diameter is non-standard, it is recommended that an adjustable stripper is used.  Thermal strippers such as those that are attached to the Schleuniger FiberStrip 7030 or the Vytran FFS-2000 can be used for all fiber in a safe way.

Alternatively, chemical stripping of fibers can be done using an appropriate solvent. For example, the coating can be exposed for one minute to sulfuric acid at 120°C sulfuric acid. Before the fiber is dipped into the liquid, the tip should be sealed with a drop of glue of 2 mm in diameter or through the end fiber hole collapsing using a fusion splicer.  It is worth noting that most glue types are dissolved in this acid, but epoxies that are two-component such as the Epotek ND353 tends to dissolve in a slower manner than the coating.

It is also possible to obtain chemical stripping through application on the fiber tip, of paint stripper. The paint stripper is usually in the form of a gel so as to reduce the occurrence of out-gassing and can be applied easily using a small brush. After a minute or so, the coating becomes soft and is removed easily using a lens tissue. It is worth noting that paint stripper typically contains dichloromethane (CH2Cl2) and as such there may be restrictions by local regulations to use it. For lower quality and faster stripping, another option would be to use a normal cigarette lighter to burn the coating off. However, the fiber may end up becoming brittle hence not the best choice for stripping.

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