Glass optical fibers are constructed of tiny strands of glass that are bundled together inside an application-specific sheathing like stainless steel for durability and high temperatures. They are attached to certain photoelectric sensors and guide light from the sensing head to the target. Glass optical fibers have an impressive temperature range, as low as -40°F and up to +900°F. The main applications for glass fiber are communication, sensor, and measurement system. Some types of glass optical fiber cables can also be used in harsh environments such as corrosive and wet environments.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Glass Optical Fiber
- Glass fiber cables can be used in high-temperature applications like furnaces, ovens, and condensers in large engines, as well as in extremely low-temperature areas such as cold storage warehouses.
- Since glass cores are efficient at transmitting light and allow for significantly higher transfer speeds, glass optical fibers can be used over long sensing distances.
- Glass optical fiber enables you to use a photoelectric sensor in areas where you wouldn’t normally be able to use them. With this advantage, you can choose sensors with a wide range of housings, mounting styles, and features for your specific application.
- Since glass fiber optic cables are thin and light, they are optimized for small spaces and small targets.
- The installation of glass optical fibers requires highly trained technicians, and the tools and equipment for fiber termination are usually expensive.
- The core diameter of glass fiber is very small, hence it has higher technology requirements to couple light into the core region, such as light sources.
- Glass optical fibers are fragile and more possible to break if not handled properly.