Users sometimes bundle several optical fibers together to form a fiber-optic bundle or glass fiber bundle for some applications. They turn to plastic fibers or multimode large-core silica fibers in most situations. In other circumstances, they use many fibers or join only a small number of fibers like seven fibers when they arrange six of them around one central fiber.
They put the glass fiber bundle together to form a hexagonal pattern. As an option, these also come in an irregular pattern since users assemble them randomly. In the end, they will have rectangular, circular, or hexagonal shapes. However, it is possible with other forms. Though it may reduce mechanical stress or increase fiber diameter, people can bundle plastic fiber or glass fiber bundle or fibers with a thin polymer coating.
Flexible Glass Fiber Bundle Cables
Users typically use further protection layers around the glass fiber bundle after applying a polymeric coating. These protective layers can be a flexible tube or a sleeve. Glass fiber bundle tends to be relatively flexible when users can fuse or glue the fiber together. Even when glass fiber bundles have a substantial thickness, people can use them as a flexible light pipe after twisting or bending them. When they have thinner used fibers, the flexibility will be higher.
Ordered and Unordered Bundles
People can have ordered or unordered glass fiber bundles. There is one-on-one correspondence regarding input and output fibers’ arrangement when it comes to an ordered bundle. For instance, this case is crucial for imaging applications. People also refer to ordered fiber bundles as being coherent even when the name has no connection with the typical coherence meaning in optics. They give unordered bundles incoherent, and they have a pseudo-random relationship with input and output fibers. This situation can be effective for specific sensors or illumination purposes.
People can also develop a merged or split glass fiber bundle. People can have two outputs and one input bundle for Y bundles. Others with more outputs are multi-branch fiber bundles. There are many fibers in each output cable or bundles with 1 to 7 fan-out, containing about seven fibers. People can use branched fiber bundles as combiners for several signals sent to a single instrument or as splitters for illuminating many spots with a single light source.
It is not essential to have similar input and output interface shapes. Sometimes, people can arrange a glass fiber bundle’s input fibers in a circle. They can also use the output fibers to form a cross, narrow line, or rectangular. They also use round-to-line profile converters for spectrometers.
Operators will have a rigid fiber rod when they fuse the whole bundle. Even when they heat it to a sufficiently high temperature, they can still taper, twist, bend, or deform.
Many suppliers provide glass fiber bundles that people can customize in several ways. This case has to do with branching, shapes, length, fiber dimension and number, and type. People can still find custom solutions based on various specialty fibers, even though most glass fiber bundles are made from plastic fibers or silica fibers.