With a number of different shapes of adapters available, how to pick the right fiber optic adapter may become a problem. To some untrained eyes, all these adapters may look the same, but there are some very critical differences in adapter quality that can drastically affect data center performance. Generally speaking, the following two points should be taken into account, when considering a fiber optic adapter.
The Type of Cables Need to Be Connected
If the connecting cables are all the same shape, an adapter with square, rectangular, or round inputs can be used. These adapters are comprised of two or more female connections that the fiber optic cables can be plugged into. And if the connecting cables are different, it is necessary to use a hybrid fiber optic adapter, which can be designed to fit any two types of fiber-optic cables together. There are many different types of hybrid adapters, so it is important to know what type of cables need to be connected before purchasing one.
Materials for Adapter Alignment Sleeve
The alignment sleeve is the most important component of a fiber optic adapter. Some manufacturers may choose a metal, sometimes referred to as Phosphor Bronze. This alloy is noted for its strength and rigidity for large boat propellers, springs and bolts. However, ceramic materials are ideal for manufacturing couplers. Ceramics are non metallic, inorganic and crystalline in structure. The crystalline structure of ceramic allows for a very rigid surface that will not deform. Why does this matter? As we discussed, alignment is critical. A softer metal like Phosphor Bronze will deform over time, especially with repeated plug-ins. Ceramic will hold its original shape for much longer. This makes a coupler that has ceramic alignment sleeves far superior to Phosphor Bronze.