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Vytran® Fiber Cleavers for Ø80 µm to Ø1.25 mm Cladding Fibers
Fiber Cleaver with Rotation Module for Angled Cleaves
Included Tablet Controller Provides Easy-to-Use Interface for Operation
Top and Bottom Fiber Holder Inserts (Must be Purchased Separately)
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A close-up of the cleave assembly on the LDC401A. A clamping screw on the top of each holding block can be tightened to provide extra clamping force for gripping fibers with outer diameters ≥500 µm. Magnets in each holding block provide sufficient force for clamping smaller fiber diameters.
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The LDCCM Kit (sold separately below) includes a digital microscope for imaging the fiber, cleave blade, and micrometer position. It also includes a mount with an integrated USB hub that allows the microscope to be controlled with the tablet included with each cleaver.
Build Your System
These Vytran Fiber Cleavers precisely cleave fibers with claddings from 80 µm to 1.25 mm in diameter. The LDC401 is designed to produce flat cleaves perpendicular to the length of the fiber, while the LDC401A has a rotation stage module for creating angled cleaves up to 15°.*
The cleavers use the "tension-and-scribe" cleaving process, where tension is applied along the length of the fiber followed by an automatic scribing process utilizing a diamond cleave blade. After the blade scribes the fiber, tension is maintained, causing the scribe to propagate across the fiber width and complete the cleave. The LDC401A accomplishes angled cleaves by using the rotation stage to apply torsion to the fiber prior to scribing; the cleave plane will be perpendicular to the maximum resultant stress created by the combined tension and torsion applied to the fiber.
The cleavers have settings to carry out an automated "sub-critical" scribe process designed to improve the cleave quality in specialty fibers, such as photonic crystal fiber (PCF), microstructured fibers, capillary tubes, or highly stressed fibers (multimode or polarization maintaining). Each cleaver is equipped with a flat-tipped micrometer backstop, which can help improve end-face quality when performing low-tension cleaves. See the Cleaving Guide tab for details.
The cleavers use a diamond blade for scribing the fiber. When used with proper cleave parameters, a single location on the blade can provide up to 5,000 cleaves (dependent on the cladding properties of the fiber being cleaved). The cleaver is designed so that the cleave blade can be repositioned approximately nine times before replacement (assuming proper cleave parameters and usage that does not cause unexpected damage to the blade). We only recommend using these cleavers with fibers that have a glass cladding; other materials, such as plastic, will rapidly degrade or damage the blade. Replacement blades are available separately below.
We also offer kits for adding a microscope to the cleaver, as well as mounting the tablet controller behind and above the cleaver. The digital microscope shows the fiber, cleave blade, and micrometer backstop at 20X or 220X zoom, enabling more effective use of the cleaver.
In addition to the large-diameter fiber cleavers, we offer the FPS300 Stripping and Cleaning Station, the LFS4100 Fiber Splicer, GPX4000LZ CO2 Laser Glass Processor and the GPX3400 and GPX3600 Glass Fiber Processing Stations. Many of the fiber holder inserts that are compatible with the LDC401 and LDC401A are also compatible with these fiber processing systems, making it easy to move the fiber between stations.
* It may not be possible to create clean, angled cleaves in specialty fibers with large "air-fill" fractions due to the structural properties of the fiber.
Programmable Cleave Parameters
These large-diameter fiber cleavers are designed to provide easy operation when performing simple cleaves but still support customized processing for more complicated cleaves involving specialty fibers. A complete list of modifiable parameters is listed below. The majority of users will only need to enter the Fiber Diameter (cladding), Cleave Tension, and Pre-Cleave Advance while leaving the rest of the parameters set to their default values. To further simplify the process, the tablet controller features an autoset function that will estimate an appropriate Cleave Tension and Pre-Cleave Advance based on the fiber diameter, although these values can be adjusted by the user if necessary.
Tablet Controller Cleave Parameter Definitions
The definition of each of the parameters that can be entered into the tablet controller are described below.
Fiber Diameter: The diameter of the fiber cladding. This is also the fiber cleave parameter file name.
Cleave Tension: The load applied axially to the fiber prior to initiating the scribe process. These cleavers are calibrated using standard weights that are hung off of a pulley, so the tension settings are programmed into the tablet controller in grams. Possible settings correspond to a range of tensions from 9.8 mN (0.0022 lbs) to 63.7 N (14.3 lbs).
Pre-Cleave Advance: Before cleaving, the cleave blade must move closer to the fiber. The location of the blade just prior to cleaving is set using this parameter. One step corresponds to 0.00006" (1.5 µm).
Set FHB Offset: This stands for "Set Fiber Holding Block Offset". It is the distance that the left fiber holding block will be shifted to the left from the "home" position prior to loading the fiber. This allows the user to adjust the distance between the edge of the holding block and the cleave point.
Tension Velocity: The speed at which tension is applied to the fiber prior to cleaving. One step corresponds to 0.00003125" (0.8 µm).
Cleave Peck Cycles: To properly cleave the fiber, the cleave blade will ideally make one single, quick contact with the fiber. In order to achieve this, the blade will begin to oscillate forward and backwards after the pre-cleave advance distance has been traveled. This parameter sets the total number of oscillations that will occur during the cleave process.
Cleave Forward Steps: This parameter controls how far the blade moves towards the fiber during the "forward" portion of the cleave peck cycle. One step corresponds to 0.00006" (1.5 µm).
Cleave Back Steps: This parameter controls how far the blade moves away from the fiber during the "backward" portion of the cleave peck cycle. One step corresponds to 0.00006" (1.5 µm).
Scribe Delay: This is the delay in milliseconds between each cleave peck cycle. It provides time for the scribe to propagate across the fiber, completing the cleave, before the blade moves forward again. This helps prevent the blade from contacting the fiber more than once.
Set Blade Offset: Adjusts the position that the blade returns to after homing. This allows the starting point for the pre-cleave advance and subsequent cleave peck cycles to be globally adjusted. One step corresponds to 0.00006" (1.5 µm).
Special Sub-Critical Process Parameters
During the Sub-Critical Process, additional tension is applied to the fiber after the scribe occurs.
Post-Scribe Pause: The time, in seconds, between the last oscillation of the cleave blade and the first increase in tension applied to the fiber.
Re-Tension Pause: The time between subsequent increases in the tension applied to the fiber (all increases in tension after the first one, which occurs after the Post-Scribe Pause).
Re-Tension Level: The tension is increased incrementally after the scribe. This is the amount by which the tension is increased after the Post-Scribe Pause and each Re-Tension Pause. These cleavers are calibrated using standards weights that are hung off of a pulley, so the tension settings are programmed into the tablet controller in grams. Possible settings correspond to a range of tensions from 9.8 mN (0.0022 lbs) to 0.98 N (0.22 lbs).
Re-Tension Limit: The maximum amount of additional tension that will be applied to the fiber as a percentage of the original tension.
Fiber Holder Insert Selection Guide
Fiber Holder Inserts, which are designed to hold various sized fibers within the cleaver, must be purchased separately. The bottom inserts have V-grooves to hold the fiber, while the top inserts each feature a recessed, flat surface that clamps the fiber against the V-groove in the bottom insert. Each top and bottom insert is sold individually, as the fiber diameter clamped by the left and right holding blocks may not be the same. Two top inserts and two bottom inserts are required to operate the cleaver.
The table below indicates the maximum and minimum diameters that can be accommodated by different combinations of top and bottom inserts. It also indicates how far offset the fiber will be for recommended combinations of top and bottom inserts. Note that the fiber outer diameter may be the fiber cladding, jacket, or buffer. If one side of the fiber is being discarded, it is preferable to clamp onto the cladding of this section except in special cases (such as non-circular fiber) where the coating or buffer may be preferable. Sections of fiber that are not being discarded should always be clamped on the coating or buffer in order to avoid damaging the glass. This may require different sets of fiber holder inserts to be used in the left and right holding blocks. In this case, it is important to minimize the difference in the offsets introduced by the left and right sets of inserts when attempting to produce perpendicular, flat cleaves.
Each V-groove can accommodate a range of fiber sizes.
Fiber Holder Insert Selection Chart
Tension-and-Scribe Cleave Process
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An illustration of the tension-and-scribe method as used by the LDC401 and LDC401A to produce a flat cleave. Tension is applied along the optical axis of the fiber prior to cleaving. A diamond blade then scribes the fiber, and the tension causes the scribe to propagate across the fiber in a plane that is orthogonal to the direction of the tension.
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An illustration of the tension-and-scribe method as used by the LDC401A to produce an angled cleave. Tension and torsion are applied simultaneously to the fiber prior to cleaving. When the blade scribes the fiber, the scribe propagates across the fiber orthogonally to the direction of the maximum resultant stress produced by the combined tension and torsion, producing an angled cleave.
Tension-and-Scribe Cleave Process
The LDC401 cleavers use the "tension-and-scribe" cleaving process, where tension is applied along the length of the fiber followed by an automatic scribing process utilizing a diamond blade. After the blade scribes the fiber, tension is maintained, causing the scribe to propagate across the fiber width and complete the cleave. Angled cleaves are accomplished in the LDC401A by using the rotation stage to apply torsion to the fiber, starting prior to commencing the "tension-and-scribe" process. The cleave plane will then be perpendicular to the maximum resultant stress created by the combined tension and torsion applied to the fiber.
Sub-Critical Process for Cleaving Specialty Fibers
Certain specialty fibers, such as photonic crystal fiber (PCF), microstructured fibers, capillary tubes, or highly stressed fibers (multimode or polarization maintaining) may require special parameters in order to create clean cleaves at the desired angle. These Vytran® fiber cleavers can be programmed with a "sub-critical" cleave process in order to produce high-quality cleaves for these fiber types.
For these cleaves, the initial tension applied to the fiber is lower than what would be required for the standard "tension-and-scribe" process. The included micrometer backstop prevents the fiber from bending when it is scribed at this lower tension. After the scribe, the tension is slowly, incrementally increased, which serves to propagate the scribe across the fiber and complete the cleave. Parameters for this process can be adjusted using the tablet controller, including the starting and ending tension and how fast the tension is increased after the initial scribe.
The following information is intended to provide a starting point when selecting the best process to use for cleaving different types of fiber. To achieve the best possible cleave results, further experimentation is typically required to fine-tune the cleave parameters for each specific fiber type.
Standard Process: The tension-and-scribe method where a constant tension is applied to the fiber, the fiber is scribed, and the tension causes the scribe to propagate across the fiber to produce the cleave.
Sub-Critical Process: This process starts with a lower tension applied to the fiber than required by the standard cleaving process. After the fiber is scribed, the tension is slowly increased until the scribe propagates across the fiber and the cleave is complete. This can improve the cleave quality in highly stressed or specialty fibers.
Micrometer Backstop: The tip of the micrometer is positioned so that it just touches the fiber, providing a surface that prevents the fiber from deforming when contacted by the cleave blade during scribing. It is particularly useful when cleaving large-diameter fibers or when using the lower-tension sub-critical process.
Tablet Controller GUI Interface
Each LDC401 and LDC401A includes a touchscreen tablet controller, which provides a simple interface for configuring, controlling, and monitoring cleaver operation. The screenshots below highlight key features of the graphical user interface. Additionally, the user can enter passwords and set permissions, allowing only authorized users to access and change the LDC401 or LDC401A settings. The controller can be operated in one of four languages: English, French, Russian, or Chinese. The controller may be mounted above the cleaver using the LDCCM Kit below (sold separately), which also includes an inspection microscope.
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The LDC401 home screen provides a status bar, tool bar, start button, and a button to view or edit the parameters. The symbols on the right of the screen make up the LDC Widget.
Top row, left to right: left FHB inserts, FHB offset in mm, cleave blade index, cleave counter, right FHB inserts, rotation angle.
Bottom row, left to right: target tension, fiber cladding and jacket diameter, micrometer backstop position, regular or sub-critical cleave, ready/busy indicator.
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This screen allows the user to access and change all cleave parameters. The current setting is displayed next to the parameter name.
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Cleave Process Screen
Once the cleave process is started, the Cleave Screen is displayed. This screen updates dynamically as the cleave sequence progresses. A typical sequence consists of loading the fiber, pulling tension, cleaving the fiber, and then unloading (although the user can go straight to the tension stage by pressing start when the left FHB lid is closed). This screen shows the LDC widget, allowing the user to make final adjustments to parameters before the cleave.
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Auto Parameter will generate a basic set of suggested theoretical cleave parameters based on the Fiber Diameter (and if required, the Desired Cleave Angle). The user can edit each parameter by touching the item in the list.
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This window allows the user to adjust the desired position of the fiber holding block, either by typing in a new setting, using the slider, or using the arrow buttons beneath the slider. While this window is for the fiber holding block, similar windows are available to set the position of the motor that drives the cleave blade and the rotation stage for angle cleaves (LDC401A only).
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The blade service window allows the user to move the blade between its service position and its home position. The screen includes a list of the parameters needed to manage the blade setup. The cleave counter counts the number of cleaves performed by the blade in a given position. Each time the blade is replaced or moved so that a new part of the blade is in use, the cleave counter should be reset to zero and the cleave blade index incremented by 1. These can be done by tapping the boxes next to "Cleave Blade Index" and "Cleave Counter."
Must be Purchased Separately
Optional Accessories (Sold Separately)
The Vytran LDC401 and LDC401A Fiber Cleavers produce high-quality cleaves in fibers with claddings from Ø80 µm to Ø1.25 mm in order to support precision splicing applications. The LDC401 produces flat cleaves (i.e., a cleave plane perpendicular to the length of the fiber), while the LDC401A can produce both flat and angled cleaves. Each cleaver features a diamond cleave blade, a micrometer backstop that enables low-tension cleaves in specialty fibers, and a ruler block and translating fiber holding blocks to align the point to be cleaved. The LDC401A also includes a rotary stage to apply the torsion needed for angled cleaves.
The left fiber holding block is connected to the same motorized stage as is used in our linear proof testers and includes a load cell that allows the system to internally monitor the tension applied to the fiber during the cleave process. The position of this holding block can be adjusted prior to cleaving by entering the desired position, with micron-level precision, into the tablet controller (display units are in millimeters).
The tablet included with each cleaver allows the parameters of the cleave process to be precisely controlled. Adjustable settings include the fiber tension, rotation angle, velocity at which the tension and torsion are applied to the fiber, how quickly the scribe approaches the fiber, and fiber diameter. A cleave angle calculator, included in the LDC401A tablet, provides an estimate of cleave parameters that can be refined by the user. The tablet is shipped preloaded with ten files for common cleave parameters. See the Tablet Controller tab for details.
Once the desired cleave parameters are set and loaded into the cleaver, the tablet can be removed and the cleaving process initiated by pressing the blue button on the top of the unit. For manufacturing environments with multiple cleaving stations, this feature streamlines the production process by allowing the same cleave parameters to be easily loaded into multiple LDC401 cleavers.
These cleavers use fiber holding blocks that are compatible with the FPS300 Stripping and Cleaning Station, LFS4100 Fiber Splicer, GPX3000 Glass Fiber Processing Stations, and GPX4000LZ CO2 Laser Glass Processor, allowing fiber to be moved easily between systems. Fiber Holder Inserts are available below in a variety of sizes and must be purchased separately. A selection guide is provide on the Fiber Holder Inserts tab to aid in determining which inserts are appropriate for the fiber to be cleaved.
Each unit is shipped with a power supply and location-specific power cord.
Note: Due to the unit's design, it is not possible to upgrade an LDC401 to perform angled cleaves.
The large-diameter fiber cleavers require a pair of Top and Bottom Fiber Holder Inserts to be placed in each of the fiber holding blocks in order to clamp the fiber during the cleaving process. Each top insert consists of a bar that has a recessed area on one or both sides, designed to clamp the fiber against the V-groove in a bottom insert. The inserts sit in the top section of the fiber holding blocks and are available in a variety of groove sizes. Top inserts are sold individually, and two are required to use these cleavers.
The top and bottom inserts (available below) can be paired in different combinations, outlined on the Fiber Holder Inserts tab above, to accommodate fiber with outer diameters from 57 µm to 3.198 mm.
While the cleavers can only cleave fibers with cladding diameters from 80 µm up to 1.25 mm, the inserts can accommodate a wider range of outer diameters, as there are cases where the fiber should be clamped on the coating instead of the cladding. During a typical cleave, it is often desirable to clamp the cladding on the side to be discarded and the coating on the side of the fiber that will be retained. Alternatively, the fiber may be center stripped and the coating clamped on both sides (preferable in some cases, such as creating a firm clamp on non-circular fiber). Therefore, multiple combinations of top and bottom inserts may be required to accommodate all of the diameters that need to be clamped. The Fiber Holder Insert tab above includes information and a table to aid in selecting the correct combinations of top and bottom inserts to accommodate fiber outer diameters between 57 µm and 3.198 mm.
The large-diameter fiber cleavers require a pair of Top and Bottom Fiber Holder Inserts to be placed in each of the fiber holding blocks in order to clamp the fiber during the cleaving process. Each bottom insert has a V-Groove on one or both sides that can accommodate a range of diameters (as indicated in the table to the right).
Three types of bottom inserts are available for these large-diameter fiber cleavers. Standard bottom inserts for fiber with an outer diameter <Ø1.047 mm have vacuum holes to help position the fiber in the groove when loading the cleaver. For certain fiber diameters, we also offer transfer inserts (Item #s beginning with VHF) designed to work with the VHT1 transfer clamps (available below) that aid in moving the fiber between compatible Vytran stations while maintaining coarse alignment. The VHE series of fiber holder bottom inserts have a V-Groove on one (VHE25 and VHE30) or both sides (VHE10, VHE15, and VHE20) but do not include vacuum holes. The VHF transfer inserts and VHE bottom inserts can both be installed in other, compatible Vytran stations, although the VHE bottom inserts cannot be used with the VHT1 transfer clamp.
Bottom inserts are sold individually, and two are required to use the large-diameter cleavers. If using the fiber cleaver as a stand-alone device, the VHD series or VHE series inserts will be sufficient. If using the cleavers with other compatible Vytran systems, the bottom insert in the left fiber holding block can be replaced with a transfer insert and VHT1 transfer clamp (available below) for certain fiber sizes, as indicated in the table to the right. Typically, these transfer inserts would only be used in the left fiber holder block, as the right fiber holding block usually clamps the side of the fiber that will be discarded. The right fiber holding block of the LDC401 can accept transfer inserts, if desired, while the right fiber holding block of the LDC401A is incompatible with the transfer inserts, due to the presence of the rotation stage.
The top (available above) and bottom fiber holder inserts can be paired in different combinations, outlined on the Fiber Holder Inserts tab above, to accommodate fiber with outer diameters from 57 µm to 3.198 mm. While the cleavers can only cleave fibers with cladding diameters from 80 µm up to 1.25 mm, the inserts can accommodate a wider range of outer diameters, as there are cases where the fiber should be clamped on the coating instead of the cladding. During a typical cleave, it is often desirable to clamp the cladding on the side to be discarded and the coating on the side of the fiber that will be retained. Alternatively, the fiber may be center stripped and the coating clamped on both sides (preferable in some cases, such as creating a firm clamp on non-circular fiber). Therefore, multiple combinations of top and bottom inserts may be required. The Fiber Holder Inserts tab above includes information and a table to aid in selecting the correct combinations of top and bottom inserts to accommodate fiber outer diameters from 57 µm to 3.198 mm.
These Transfer Clamps and V-Grooves are used with the VHF Transfer Bottom Inserts sold directly above to move a single fiber between various Vytran systems with minimal loss of alignment. For example, a fiber can be placed in a transfer insert and cleaved using the LDC401. Then, the entire transfer insert and fiber can be moved to a splicer or glass processor for splicing.
The VHT1 clamp secures transfer inserts with a magnetic lid that prevents axial movement of the fiber and can be used to hold the insert during transport without touching the fiber itself. For fibers with diameters ≤550 µm, a graphite V-groove is available to support the fiber when splicing (please see the size table to the right for more information). The graphite V-grooves are secured by tightening two setscrews on the transfer insert.
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LDCCK Digital Microscope Kit
These optional kits feature a digital microscope on a swing arm that attaches to the side of our LDC Series Fiber Cleavers. The microscope can image the fiber, cleave blade, and micrometer backstop at up to 220X magnification, enabling more effective use of the cleaver. The magnification of the microscope can be adjusted using the silver wheel on the side, and the focus can adjusted by sliding the microscope in its holder. The microscope also incorporates eight white light LEDs for illumination of the subject. The brightness of these LEDs may be adjusted using the narrow black wheel near the top of the microscope. A button on the side captures a still image when pressed.
The LDCCM kit includes the digital microscope, swing arm, and a tablet mount for holding the tablet included with our LDC401 and LDC401A cleavers above the system, minimizing its footprint. The tablet mount incorporates a USB hub that enables the tablet included with the LDC401 and LDC401A cleavers to interface with the cleaver and the microscope simultaneously. The microscope can then be controlled using the software that comes pre-installed on the LDC401 or LDC01A tablet.
The LDCCK kit includes only the digital microscope and swing arm for users that do not wish to mount a tablet above the workstation. To use the LDC401 or LDC401A Cleaver's tablet to control the cleaver and view the microscope image simultaneously, a separate USB hub (not included) is necessary. Alternately, each kit includes a CD with software that allows the microscope to be operated via a tablet or PC supplied by the user. The LDCCK Kit is also compatible with our previous-generation LDC400 and LDC400A Fiber Cleavers, which included a handset instead of a tablet.
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The blade is shipped in a protective covering.
The ACL83 Diamond Cleave Blade is a replacement blade for the Vytran fiber processing systems listed to the right. Each system is shipped with a blade included.
When used with proper cleave parameters, a single location on the blade can provide up to 5,000 cleaves (dependent on the cladding properties of the fiber being cleaved). The blade can be positioned approximately 10 times before replacement (assuming proper cleave parameters and usage that does not cause unexpected damage to the blade). Blade replacement instructions for each system are provided in the user manuals.
Note: Severe damage to the blade can occur if conditions cause high stress perpendicular to the edge of the blade or if incorrect parameters are used to cleave the fiber.