Network Communications News (NCN) September 2016 - Page 28

FEATURE fibre cleaning

bottles of IPA aren ’ t going to do much damage . But many locales – such as California and New Jersey – have implemented clean air legislation that make it very difficult to legally use VOCs in such containers . Emerging nations such as China also have considered the VOC problem to become a better global neighbour . So while a technician may be able to get IPA it may not be legal to use it . Single use penalties can be as high as five figures and include incarceration ! Yes , we live in a new legislative environment – and one of best practice performance .
For fusion splice prep there is one last concern : the residual moisture in the IPA will corrode the electrodes on expensive fusion splicing equipment . As the high intensity arc fuses the fibres the heat not only evaporates remaining IPA but also the moisture embedded in the IPA . Yes , you can replace the electrodes , but would it not be better practice to select a chemical that does not hasten their demise ? This is the reason many major fusion splice producers have gravitated away from IPA for splice prepping and now market applicationspecific products in unique packages .
Fibre optics need fast , consistent and reliable contamination removal .
– not just sometime , not just maybe – but each time it is dispensed . IPA out ; water and contamination in . For optimal results , the packaging should be hermetically sealed .
There is another concern : the headroom in the drum or pail of IPA will have air that contains moisture . This exposure continues hygroscopic deterioration . There is no practical way a technician can estimate the purity of IPA that has been opened or improperly stored . The best practice is not to use IPA at all .
Can companies buy pure IPA and solve the haze problem ? Many try , but I believe that the purchase of 99.9 per cent reagent grade IPA is a waste of money and effort . Here ’ s the little secret about reagent grade IPA : since it is the most pure it is the most hygroscopic .
Ed Forrest has a long career in the fibre optic industry , including patents , products in production and patents pending . He is an expert on the 3D nature of connectors , contamination , cleaning and the implications for network design and performance .
99.9 per cent ‘ reagent grade IPA ’ will reduce itself to drug store purity long before the container is emptied . Unless the techs are buying reagent grade IPA in a hermetically sealed container and using it under very controlled conditions ( such as protecting it with a nitrogen blanket to control moisture absorption ) your company is just wasting money .
Storage and packaging is a problem that is rarely discussed but is crucial in this environment . IPA is a hazardous liquid because it is flammable . All flammables should receive special storage and handling . These characteristics also make it difficult and expensive to ship IPA , and IPA certainly cannot be carried on to airplanes because of numerous TSA , DOT , FAA and IATA regulations . As a result , it often is difficult for techs in remote locations to have the proper cleaning fluid on hand . A better choice would be to select a nonflammable , nonaerosol , non-hazardous liquid which are easy to ship anywhere .
Environmentally , IPA is a Volatile Organic Compound ( VOC ). This means it contributes to local smog . Now , tiny
What is the answer ?
The point is simple : there have been many important advances in the science of cleaning over the past three decades . The essential reality is IPA has been surpassed and replaced by safer and more effective chemicals .
Fibre optics need fast , consistent and reliable contamination removal , as well as a dry surface . The selection of a fluid for cleaning fibre optics is a complex trade-off of many attributes ; cost , storage , handling , purity , actual cleaning ability , drying time and worker safety to name a few . Modern , nonflammable fluids – along with the appropriate non-cellulose wipers ( no paper cosmetic-like nose tissues ) – are the best choice to ensure a clean surface that is optimised for ultra high speed and ultra capacity fibre optics . The best choices are ultra pure , fast evaporating , non-flammable cleaners in nonrefillable , hermetically sealed containers . When choosing a wiper , I prefer hydroentangled non-woven polyester / cellulose cloth , not cheap paper wipes .
Look for better products – they are on the same catalogue page as IPA . Remember , by the time that expensive reagent grade IPA is used it will have lost almost all its cleaning ability , wasting time and money and compromising the performance of your network .
28
F E AT U R E fibre cleaning bottles of IPA aren’t going to do much damage. But many locales – such as California and New Jersey – have implemented clean air legislation that make it very difficult to legally use VOCs in such containers. Emerging nations such as China also have considered the VOC problem to become a better global neighbour. So while a technician may be able to get IPA it may not be legal to use it. Single use penalties can be as high as five figures and include incarceration! Yes, we live in a new legislative environment – and one of best practice performance. For fusion splice prep there is one last concern: the residual moisture in the IPA will corrode the electrodes on expensive fusion splicing equipment. As the high intensity arc fuses the fibres the heat not only evaporates remaining IPA but also the moisture embedded in the IPA. Yes, you can replace the electrodes, but would it not be better practice to select a chemical that does not hasten their demise? This is the reason many major fusion splice producers have gravitated away from IPA for splice prepping and now market applicationspecific products in unique packages. What is the answer? Fibre optics need fast, consistent and reliable contamination removal. – not just sometime, not just maybe – but each time it is dispensed. IPA out; water and contamination in. For optimal results, the packaging should be hermetically sealed. There is another concern: the headroom in the drum or pail of IPA will have air that contains moisture. This exposure continues hygroscopic deterioration. There is no practical way a technician can estimate the purity of IPA that has been opened or improperly stored. The best practice is not to use IPA at all. C [\[Y\^H\HTH[HH^H؛[OX[HK]H[Y]H]H\\HوNKH\[XY[ܘYHTH\H\Hق[ۙ^H[Yܝ \x&\H]HXܙ]X]XY[ܘYHTN[H]\B[\H]\H[YܛX˂Yܜ\\Hۙ\Y\[HXHX[\K[Y[][X[X[ۈ[][œ[[ˈH\[^\ۈH ]\HوۛXܜ۝[Z[][ۋX[[[H[\X][ۜ܈]ܚ™\Yۈ[\ܛX[KNKH\[8&XY[ܘYHTx&H[YXH][YܙH\]Hۙ˜YܙHH۝Z[\\[\YY [\HX\H^Z[XY[ܘYHTB[H\Y]X[HX[Y۝Z[\[\[][\\H۝Yۙ][ۜŠX\X[]]H][[]۝[\\HXܜ[ۊB[\\[H\\\[[ۙ^KܘYH[XY[\H؛[B]\\[H\\Y]\ܝXX[[\™[\ۛY[ TH\H^\\\]ZYX]\H]\[[XXK[[[XX\œ[XZ]HXX[ܘYH[[[ˈ\H\X\\X[›XZH]YX[[^[]H\TK[TH\Z[H[H\YYۈZ\[\X]\Hو\\•K PH[PUHY[][ۜ˂\H\[ ]ٝ[\YX[܈Xš[[[H][ۜ]HH\X[[ZYۈ[ H]\XB[H[XHۙ[[XXKۘY\ ۋZ^\\\]ZYX\BX\H\[]\K[\ۛY[[KTH\H][Bܙ[X\[ K\YX[š]۝X]\[[ˈ[BH[\[\N\H]HY[X[H[\ܝ[Y[\[HY[BوX[[ݙ\H\YHXY\˂H\[X[X[]H\TH\Y[\\Y[\XYHY\[[ܙHYX]H[ZX[˂XHXYY\ ۜ\[[[XXH۝[Z[][ۈ[[ݘ[ \[\HH\XKH[X[ۂوHZY܈X[[XHX\B\^YK[ٙوX[H]X]\˜ ܘYK[[\]KXX[X[[X[]KZ[[YH[ܚ\Y]HHH]ˈ[\ۙ[[XXHZY8$[ۙ]B\X]HۋX[[H\\ œ\\Y]X[ZHH\Y\H8$\BH\XH[\HHX[\XB]\[Z\Y܈[HYYY[[H\X]HXHXˈH\X\\H[H\K\]\ܘ][ۋY[[XXHX[\[ۜY[XK\Y]X[HX[Y۝Z[\˂[[H\\HY\Y[[Yۋ]ݙ[Y\\˜[[H X\\\\\˂܈]\X8$^H\BۈH[YH][YHYH\TK[Y[X\HH[YH]^[]BXY[ܘYHTH\\Y][]B[[[]X[[X[]K\[[YH[[ۙ^H[\Z\[B\ܛX[Hو[\]ܚ˂LX[[XH8$X\˚[   ̌ M LM