Journal article

Battery powered inductive welding system for electrofusion joints in optical fiber microducts


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Publication Details

Author list: Akram, Shazad

Publication year: 2021


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Optical fiber microducts are joined together by mechanical joints. These mechanical joints are bulky, require more space per joint, and are prone to air pressure leakage and water seepage during service. A battery powered electrofusion welding system with a resistive-type joint has been recently developed to replace mechanical joints. These resistive-type electrofusion joints require physical connectors for power input. Due to a different installation environment, the power input connectors of resistive optical fiber microduct joints may corrode over time. This corrosion of connectors will eventually cause water seepage or air pressure leakage in the long run. Moreover, due to connector corrosion, resistive-type optical fiber microduct joints cannot be re-heated in future if the need arises. In this study, an inductively coupled electrofusion-type joint was proposed and investigated. This inductive-type electrofusion joint is not prone to long-term corrosion risk, due to the absence of power connectors. Inductive-type electrofusion joints can be re-heated again for resealing or removal in the long run, as no metal part is exposed to the environment. The battery powered inductive welding system can be easily powered with a 38 volts 160 watt-hour battery. The inductive-type electrofusion joint was welded within one second, and passed a 300-newton pull strength test and a 10-bar air pressure leakage test. It was demonstrated that the power input requirement for inductive electrofusion joints is 64% higher than that of resistive electrofusion joints. However, these inductive joints are relatively easy to manufacture, inexpensive, have no air leakage, and no water seepage risk in highly corrosive environments.


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