WO2004008210A1 - Optical fibre connector - Google Patents

Optical fibre connector Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2004008210A1
WO2004008210A1 PCT/GB2003/002655 GB0302655W WO2004008210A1 WO 2004008210 A1 WO2004008210 A1 WO 2004008210A1 GB 0302655 W GB0302655 W GB 0302655W WO 2004008210 A1 WO2004008210 A1 WO 2004008210A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
ferrule
holder
connector body
connector
compressible member
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/GB2003/002655
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Jan Watte
Jacco Elenbaas
Boer Thomas T De
Original Assignee
Tyco Electronics Raychem Nv
Tyco Electronics Uk Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/24Coupling light guides
    • G02B6/36Mechanical coupling means
    • G02B6/38Mechanical coupling means having fibre to fibre mating means
    • G02B6/3807Dismountable connectors, i.e. comprising plugs
    • G02B6/3809Dismountable connectors, i.e. comprising plugs without a ferrule embedding the fibre end, i.e. with bare fibre end
    • GPHYSICS
    • G02OPTICS
    • G02BOPTICAL ELEMENTS, SYSTEMS, OR APPARATUS
    • G02B6/00Light guides
    • G02B6/24Coupling light guides
    • G02B6/36Mechanical coupling means
    • G02B6/38Mechanical coupling means having fibre to fibre mating means
    • G02B6/3807Dismountable connectors, i.e. comprising plugs
    • G02B6/381Dismountable connectors, i.e. comprising plugs of the ferrule type, e.g. fibre ends embedded in ferrules, connecting a pair of fibres
    • G02B6/3818Dismountable connectors, i.e. comprising plugs of the ferrule type, e.g. fibre ends embedded in ferrules, connecting a pair of fibres of a low-reflection-loss type
    • G02B6/3821Dismountable connectors, i.e. comprising plugs of the ferrule type, e.g. fibre ends embedded in ferrules, connecting a pair of fibres of a low-reflection-loss type with axial spring biasing or loading means

Abstract

An optical fibre connector comprising a ferrule (1) to be fixed to an optical fibre (Fig. 6) such that the fibre extends through the ferrule along an axis thereof, a connector body (19) in which the ferrule fixed to the optical fibre is arranged to be received, a resiliently compressible member (41), and a holder (39) arranged to hold the ferrule and the resiliently compressible member during insertion of the ferrule in the connector body in such a way that the ferrule is able to move in opposition to the resilience of the compressible member and thereby to adopt a connection position with respect to the connector body in which the optical fibre fixed to the ferrule is not significantly stressed within the connector body.

Description

OPTICAL FIBRE CONNECTOR

The present invention relates to optical fibre connectors, and in particular relates to connectors for forming mechanical splices between optical fibres, or between optical fibres and other optical elements, for example integrated optical devices.

There is a need to provide mechanical optical fibre splices which can be formed quickly and reliably by installation technicians. A problem encountered by technicians is that the need to form low-loss optical connections and to avoid the damage or stressing of the optical fibres can make the connection process difficult, time-consuming and inherently unreliable. The present invention seeks to provide a solution to this problem.

According to a first aspect, the invention provides an optical fibre connector comprising a ferrule to be fixed to an optical fibre such that the fibre extends through the ferrule along an axis thereof, a connector body in which the ferrule fixed to the optical fibre is arranged to be received, a resiliently compressible member, and a holder arranged to hold the ferrule and the resiliently compressible member during insertion of the ferrule in the connector body in such a way that the ferrule is able to move in opposition to the resilience of the compressible member and thereby to adopt a connection position with respect to the connector body in which the optical fibre fixed to the ferrule is not significantly stressed within the connector body.

The invention has the advantage that by arranging the ferrule to be movable in opposition to the resilience of the compressible member during insertion of the ferrule in the connector body, variations in axial dimensions which could otherwise result in a poor connection and/or significant stress on the optical fibre may generally be avoided. The invention therefore avoids the need for the installer to ensure that the fibre termination has precisely the correct axial dimensions, in order for an adequate quality connection to be formed. Consequently the invention can make the process of forming an optical connection easier, quicker and more reliable than hitherto.

Preferably the holder is arranged to be attached to the connector body during or subsequent to insertion of the ferrule in the connector body. Preferably the holder is arranged to retain the ferrule and the resiliently compressible member in place with respect to the connector body when the holder is attached to the connector body. Preferably the resiliently compressible member is located between a rear end of the ferrule (opposite to a front end of the ferrule which preferably is inserted first into the connector body) and a retaining wall of the holder.

Advantageously, the ferrule is able to move with respect to the connector body and the holder upon initial insertion of the ferrule into the connector body. Preferably, however, once the holder is securely attached to the connector body the ferrule is fixed in position with respect to the connector body and the holder. Such fixing of the position ■ of the ferrule preferably occurs by means of the secure attachment of the holder to the connector body; more preferably it occurs automatically upon securely attaching the holder to the connector body.

For example, rotation of the holder with respect to the connector body may cause the ferrule to become fixed in place with respect to the holder. This may be achieved, for example, by part of the ferrule digging into the material of the holder (or vice versa) when the holder is rotated, so that the ferrule is locked in position axially with respect to the holder. Preferably the holder is securely attached to the connector body by a bayonet-style attachment involving twisting (i.e. rotating) the holder with respect to the comiector body.

An advantage of the resiliently compressible member used in the invention is that not only does it allow the ferrule to move in opposition to its resilience in order to adopt a connection position with respect to the connector body, but also it preferably urges the ferrule, and hence the optical fibre fixed to the ferrule, in a direction further into the connector body and therefore preferably reinforces the optical contact formed in the connector body. However, such urging of the ferrule in a direction further into the connector body preferably only occurs before the ferrule is fixed in position with respect to the connector body.

In preferred embodiments of the invention, when the ferrule is fixed to the optical fibre (with the fibre extending through the ferrule) a portion of the optical fibre extends beyond the front end of the ferrule. An end face of this portion of the optical fibre preferably forms the optical connection within the connector body. The end face may advantageously be cleaved in such a way that it is not perpendicular to the axis of the fibre. Such a non-perpendicular fibre end face has the advantage that reflections of light from the end face are directed out of the optical circuit and therefore do not detrimentally affect the operation of the optical circuit.

Preferably the ferrule, the resiliently compressible member and the holder together comprise an assembly (referred to herein as the ferrule/holder assembly). Advantageously the assembly may be manipulated as a discrete unit during insertion of the ferrule in the connector body.

Accordingly, a second aspect of the invention provides an assembly for an optical fibre connector according to the first aspect of the invention, the assembly comprising the ferrule, the resiliently compressible member and the holder, whereby the holder holds the ferrule and the resiliently compressible member during insertion of the ferrule in the connector body of the connector.

Advantageously, the ferrule/holder assembly may be manipulated and attached to the connector body by means of an assembly tool, as described below.

Preferably the connector according to the invention comprises the connector body and two ferrule/holder assemblies, the connector being arranged to interconnect two optical fibres. Preferably the connector is arranged to form an in-line butt splice between the fibres.

Alternatively, the connector according to the invention may be arranged to connect an optical fibre to another optical element, for example an integrated optical device.

Other preferred and optional features of the invention are described below and in the dependent claims.

The invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, of which:

Figure 1 shows a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a ferrule of a connector according to the invention;

Figure 2 shows schematic top and side views of embodiments of ferrules of a connector according to the invention, illustrating an external profile of the ferrules intended to ensure that the ferrules may be received in a connector body of the connector in only a pre-set orientation about the axis of the ferrule;

Figure 3 shows various component parts of an embodiment of a connector body of a connector according to the invention;

Figure 4 shows the component parts of a holder/ferrule assembly according to the invention;

Figure 5 shows how a holder/ferrule assembly is attached to the connector body: Figure 6 shows two views of an assembled embodiment of a connector according to the invention;

Figure 7 shows a further view of the connector shown in Figure 4; and Figure 8 shows a further improvement of the holder/ferrule assembly.

Figure 1 shows an axial cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a ferrule 1 of a connector according to the invention. The ferrule, which is formed from a deformable material, preferably metal, more preferably a metal alloy, for example phosphor bronze (preferably nickel plated to prevent corrosion), is generally cylindrical and has an axial bore 3 extending throughout its entire length. (The axis of the ferrule is indicated by the line A-A.) The bore 3 has a relatively wide diameter section 3' (e.g. of 1mm diameter) for example for accommodating the buffer jacket of an optical fibre, and a relatively narrow diameter section 3" (e.g. of 0.3 mm diameter) for example for forming a snug fit around an end section of the optical fibre from which the buffer jacket has been stripped. Between the sections 3' and 3" is a frusto-conical transition section 4 of the bore. The narrow diameter section 3" of the axial bore extends from a front end 5 of the ferrule 1, and the wide diameter section 3' extends from a rear end 7 of the ferrule 1.

At the rear end 7 of the ferrule the circumferential external surface 8 of the ferrule includes a pair of diametrically-opposed projections 9, the purpose of which will be explained below. Towards the front end 5 of the ferrule the circumferential external surface includes a circumferential V-groove 11 which may be used, for example, in an optical fibre cleaving tool for positioning the ferrule with respect to a cleaving mechanism when the ferrule is fixed to an optical fibre extending through the ferrule.

Figure 1 does not show an important aspect of the ferrule 1 , namely a part of the circumferential external surface of the ferrule which causes the ferrule to be receivable in a connector body of a connector according to the invention in only a single pre-set orientation about the axis of the ferrule. However, this feature is shown in Figure 4, and comprises a cut-away flat surface part 15 of the circumferential external surface 8 extending from the front end 5 of the ferrule. Figure 2 shows schematic top and side views of two ferrules 1 according to the invention having optical fibres 13 extending therethrough. It can be seen that both ferrules 1 (which are identical to each other) have such a cut-away flat surface part 15 of their circumferential external surface 8 which is at a fixed orientation with respect to a cleaved non-perpendicular end face 17 of the respective optical fibre 13 extending through the ferrule. This was achieved as follows.

An end section of an optical fibre 13 had its buffer jacket stripped to expose the primary coating, and the end of the fibre was threaded through the axial bore 3 of a ferrule 1 from the rear end 7 until the buffer jacket of the fibre abutted the transition section 4 of the bore. A sufficient length of the buffer jacket of the optical fibre 13 was stripped to ensure that a significant length of the stripped fibre extended from the front end 5 of the ferrule 1. The ferrule 1 (containing the fibre 13) was then inserted into a crimping and cleaving tool which is the subject of a co-pending UK patent application of the present applicant. The tool was used firstly to crimp a rear section for the ferrule 1 (i.e. a section through which the relatively wide portion 3' of the axial bore extends) around the optical fibre 13 so that the ferrule was fixed in place on the fibre. Then the tool was used to cleave a portion of the optical fibre extending from the front end 5 of the ferrule, such that a non-perpendicular end face 17 of the fibre was produced. The cut- way flat surface part 15 of the ferrule 1 was used in the tool to orient the ferrule (about its axis) with respect to the cleaving mechanism of the tool, such that the non- perpendicular cleaved end face 17 of the fibre has a pre-set orientation with respect to the flat surface part 15 of the ferrule 1. Because the ferrule is firmly crimped in place on the fibre, this pre-set orientation is a fixed orientation.

Figure 3 shows the various component parts of an embodiment of a connector body 19 of a connector according to the invention. The connector body 19 has a hollow, generally cylindrical shape and preferably is formed from polymer and/or metal, preferably PPS (polyphenylene sulphide) containing a glass filler. The connector body 19 has an elongate aperture 21 extending axially throughout its entire length between opposite open ends 23 and 25. Each open end 23, 25 is arranged to receive a respective ferrule 1 in a single pre-set orientation about the axis of the ferrule, with respect to the connector body. This is achieved by each of two opposite end sections of the aperture which are intended to receive respective ferrules 1 having a cross-sectional shape corresponding to the external circumferential shape of a front portion of a ferrule 1 , with a flat surface part (not shown) corresponding to the flat surface part 15 of the ferrule and arranged at a position (around the axis of the connector body 19) so as to achieve a desired orientation of its respective ferrule 1. Preferably, the two ferrules 1 received by the connector body 19 are substantially identical to each other, and therefore the flat surface parts of the aperture 21 preferably are situated on diametrically opposite sides of the aperture 1 from each other, in order to provide a relative orientation between the two ferrules as shown in the "Top view" of Figure 2. That is, the two opposing ferrules 1, when received in the aperture 21 of the connector body 19 preferably are arranged such that their front ends 5 face each other and their orientations about their axes (which are coaxial with the aperture 21) are diametrically opposed. In this way, if the non-perpendicular cleaved end faces 17 of the optical fibres (to which the ferrules 1 are fixed) have been formed in an identical way, such that their orientations relative to their respective ferrules are identical, then mere insertion of the two ferrules in the connector body 19 results in a correct opposing orientation of the two end faces 17 (as shown in Figure 2), so that an intimate contact between the two end faces over substantially their entire surfaces is possible.

At a central region 27 of the connector body 19 (i.e. central along the axis of the connector body between the two open ends 23 and 25 of the aperture 21) the aperture 21 narrows at frusto-conical transition regions 29 to provide a narrow central region of the aperture 21. This narrow region of the aperture 21 is arranged to accommodate the end sections of the optical fibres 13 extending from the front ends 5 of the ferrules, and in particular is arranged to accommodate and provide support for the intimate contact between the end faces.17 of the two optical fibres. Preferably this narrow region of the aperture 21 is sufficiently narrow to prevent any significant buckling of the fibres in this region.

For formation of a fibre splice, the connector body 19 is openable to expose the narrow central region of the aperture 21 so that the end faces 17 of the optical fibres being spliced together may be observed as the ferrules 1 are inserted into the connector body (to ensure that the splicing operation is successful and the fibres are not damaged). The connector body 19 is openable in this region by means of a removable part 2 of the connector body. The connector body 19 may subsequently be permanently closed by fitting the part 2 to the main part of the connector body and sliding closure sleeves 31 over the exterior of the connector body from respective opposite ends 23, 25 of the comiector body until the two sleeves 31 overlap the part 2 and are permanently retained in place between a central projection 6 on the exterior of the part 2 and respective projections 35 on the exterior of the main part of the connector body 19. The sleeves 31 slide into place along the main part of the connector body 19 with inwardly directed lips 33 sliding within a longitudinal channel 37 provided on the exterior of the connector body.

Figure 4 shows the component parts of a holder/ferrule assembly 40 according to the invention which is used to insert a ferrule 1 into the connector body 19 and to retain the ferrule in place in the connector body throughout the working lifetime of the optical fibre connector. The assembly 40 comprises a ferrule 1, a spring 41 (which performs the function of a resiliently compressible member) and a holder 39. In order to begin assembling the optical fibre connector and to form the mechanical splice, a ferrule 1 which has been fixed onto an optical fibre 13 (and the fibre subsequently cleaved as described above) is inserted into a holder 39 such that the optical fibre 13 extends completely through the holder 39, with the fibre 13 extending through the helical spring 41, and the spring 41 located between the rear end 7 of the ferrule and a rear retaining wall 44 of the holder (see figure 6). The ferrule 1 is received in the holder 39 via an open front end 45 of the holder in such a way that the pair of diametrically opposed projections 9 at the rear end 7 of the ferrule extend into respective side openings 46 of the holder 39.

The rear end 47 of the holder 39 includes a plurality of external elongate members 49 by which the holder 39, and consequently the entire assembly 40, is arranged to be held and manipulated by an assembly tool 48, as shown in Figure 5. Figure 5(a) shows the connector body 19 held by a support 50, which itself is arranged to be retained in a splice tray (or the like) by means of retaining lugs 52. As illustrated in Figure 5(a), one holder/ferrule assembly 40 has already been attached to one end of the connector body 19, and a second holder/ferrule assembly is to be attached to the opposite end of the connector body such that the ferrule 1 is received in the connector body.

Views (a) and (b) of Figure 5 illustrate the process of attachment of the second holder/ferrule assembly to the connector body by means of the assembly tool 48. The tool 48 comprises a handle 51 from which a central elongate shank and a surrounding protective elongate sleeve 53 extend. The end of the central shank of the tool 48 (not shown in detail) opposite to the end attached to the handle 51 has elongate holding members which are arranged to interlock (via an axial sliding fit) with the elongate members 48 of the holder 39 of the assembly 40, so that the assembly 40 may be held and manipulated by means of the tool. The elongate protective sleeve 53 has an open slot 54 extending along at least part of its length from a flared open end 55 of the sleeve, in order to allow the optical fibre 13 extending from the rear end 47 of the holder 39 to extend out of the sleeve 53, as shown in views (b) and (c) of Figure 5. The protective sleeve 53 is retractable with respect to the central shank of the tool, in a direction towards the handle 51. Between the handle 51 and the sleeve 53 is a helical spring 56 which, in its relaxed state, causes the sleeve to adopt an extended position away from the handle 51 such that it surrounds and extends beyond the ferrule/holder assembly 40 held by the shank of the tool. In particular, the tool is arranged such that when the sleeve 53 is in its fully extended position the sleeve extends beyond, and therefore protects, the exposed cleaved optical fibre 13 extending from the front end 5 of the ferrule 1 of the assembly 40. In this way, the cleaved optical fibre end section is protected from damage during manipulation of the assembly prior to its insertion in the connector body 19.

The flared (female) open end 55 of the protective sleeve 53 of the tool 48 is arranged to form a mating fit with a corresponding (male) frusto-conical part 57 of the support 50, the part 57 partially surrounding an open end of the connector body 19 located on the support. This mating fit is illustrated in view (b) of Figure 5. View (c) shows the subsequent operation whereby the handle 51 of the tool 48 is pushed forwards towards the connector body 19 as indicated by arrow A. This motion of the handle causes the central shank of the tool, and hence the ferrule/holder assembly 40 held by the shank, to move towards the connector body 19 within the protective sleeve 53. The protective sleeve 53 of the tool remains motionless relative to the connector body 19 and the support 50, but it is retracted (by compression of the helical spring 56) relative to the shank and the handle 51 of the tool, as indicated by arrow B. Consequently the ferrule 1 and the cleaved end 17 of the optical fibre 13 to which the ferrule is fixed are inserted in a controlled and protected manner into the connector body 19.

As described above, each holder 39 includes a resiliently compressible member (as shown, a spring 41) situated between the respective ferrule 1, and the rear retaining wall of the holder. When a ferrule 1 is inserted into the connector body 19, its holder 39 is pushed onto the connector body initially without twisting the holder 39 relative to the connector body. The first of the two ferrule/holder assemblies 40 to be pushed onto the connector body 19 (i.e. the assembly 40 already attached to the connector body, as shown in Figure 5) is immediately secured to the connector body 19 by twisting the tool 48 (and hence the holder 39 of the assembly 40) with respect to the connector body 19 so that slots 43 of the holder 39 interlock with lugs 42 in a bayonet- style attachment. When the holder 39 is twisted with respect to the connector body 19 it is also twisted with respect to the ferrule 1 which it holds, because the ferrule has been inserted into the connector body and is unable to rotate due to its keyed orientation in the connector body (i.e. due to the corresponding flat surface parts of the ferrule 1 and the connector body 19). This twisting motion of the holder 39 with respect to its ferrule 1 causes the projections 9 at the rear end of the ferrule to dig into the material of the holder 39 (which preferably is formed from a plastics material, more preferably PBT, i.e. polybutylene teraphthalate) so that the ferrule is locked in position axially with respect to the holder.-

Because the length of cleaved optical fibre 13 extending beyond the front end 5 of its respective ferrule 1 will vary slightly from fibre to fibre (due to cleavage tolerances) the distances by which the ferrules must extend into the connector body in order to form a non- stressed splice between contacting cleaved end faces of the optical fibres will vary from splice to splice. Consequently, when the second of the two ferrule/holder assemblies is attached to the connector body (i.e. after the first ferrule/holder assembly has already been secured to the connector body by a bayonet -style attachment), before the second assembly is twisted with respect to the connector body to secure the bayonet attachment, the resiliently compressible spring member 41 of the assembly will accommodate any so-called "fibre repel" between the fibres to be spliced. Fibre repel may occur due to cleavage tolerances, and results from the combined length of exposed fibre between the two ferrules being too great. This is accommodated by the resiliently compressible spring member 41 of the second assembly 40 compressing to allow the ferrule 1 of the second assembly to move rearwardly away from the opposite ferrule, so that a good splicing contact between the two optical fibres may be achieved. The resilience of the spring member 41 ensures, however, that there is a good contact between the cleaved end faces of the fibres. Once a good splicing contact between the fibres, without significant buckling of the fibres, has been achieved, the second holder is twisted relative to the connector body 19 to secure a bayonet-style attachment between the holder and the connector body by means of slots 43 and lugs 42. The connector body is then closed by means of the part 2 and the closure sleeves 31 as described above, and the splicing of the fibres is complete. Figure 6 shows cross-sectional and exterior plan views of the connector body 19 of Figures 3 and 5 with two ferrules 1 received therein, but with the central region 27 still exposed. Each ferrule 1 is retained in place within the connector body 19 by means of a respective holder 39 that is attached to the respective open end 23,25 of the connector body behind the ferrule 1. As described above, each holder 39 is attached to the connector body 19 by means of a bayonet-style attachment, with lugs 42 on the connector body 19 received in corresponding slots 43 of the holder. A completed, fully closed, connector according to the invention is illustrated in Figure 7.

An additional aspect of the present invention relates to an improvement wherein the ferrule holder and the resiliently-compressible member are shaped and arranged so that the resiliently-compressible member is removable from the holder after the holder has been attached to the connector body to retain the ferrule in place. Preferably, the holder and compressible member are shaped and arranged to permit re-use of the compressible member by insertion and removal thereof in and from a succession of similar holders for attachment to connector bodies. Insertion and removal of the compressible member via lateral apertures in the holder body may be convenient in practice.

Figure 8 shows schematically in perspective one possible arrangement according to this aspect of the invention. In this example, the compressible member 41 is a bifurcated leaf spring inserted, as indicated by arrow A, between the end of the ferrule 1 and the facing internal wall of the holder 39, via a suitably-shaped lateral aperture 46 extending to opposite sides of the holder 39. The spring 41 thus permits the desired resilient movement of the ferrule 1 in the holder 39 during insertion in the direction of arrow B into the connector body 19 (see Fig. 5). After the holder 39 is twisted (arrow C) into locking engagement with the connector, the spring 41 may be removed, for example by means of an attached flexible member F schematically indicated. This improvement has the advantage that the re-useable resiliently-compressible member eliminates the spring which was permanently enclosed in each holder of the earlier design, which was difficult and expensive to mass-produce and wherein the enclosed spring served no further purpose after the ferrule and holder were locked in place in the connector.

Claims

1. An optical fibre connector comprising a ferrule to be fixed to an optical fibre such that the fibre extends through the ferrule along an axis thereof, a connector body in which the ferrule fixed to the optical fibre is arranged to be received, a resiliently compressible member, and a holder arranged to hold the ferrule and the resiliently compressible member during insertion of the ferrule in the connector body in such a way that the ferrule is able to move in opposition to the resilience of the compressible member and thereby to adopt a connection position with respect to the comiector body in which the optical fibre fixed to the ferrule is not significantly stressed within the connector body.
2. A connector according to claim 1, in which the holder is arranged to be attached to the comiector body during or subsequent to insertion of the ferrule in the connector body.
3. A connector according to claim 2, in which the holder is arranged to retain the ferrule and the resiliently compressible member in place with respect to the connector body when the holder is attached to the connector body.
4. A connector according to any preceding claim, in which the ferrule comprises a front end which is inserted first into the connector body and an axially opposite rear end, the resiliently compressible member being located between the rear end of the ferrule and a retaining wall of the holder.
5. A connector according to any preceding calim, in which the ferrule is able to move with respect to the connector body and the holder upon initial insertion of the ferrule into the connector body.
6. A connector according to claim 2 or any claim dependent thereon, in which subsequent to insertion of the ferrule in the connector body the holder may be securely attached to the connector body, and once the holder is so securely attached the ferrule is fixed in position with respect to the connector body and the holder.
7. A connector according to claim 6, in which such fixing in position of the ferrule occurs automatically upon securely attaching the holder to the connector body.
8. A connector according to claim 7, in which the holder is securely attached to the connector body by rotating the holder with respect to the connector body, and such fixing in position of the ferrule occurs by part of the ferrule digging into the material of the holder (or vice versa) upon such rotation of the holder.
9. A connector according to any one of claims 6 to 8, in which the holder is securely attached to the connector body by a bayonet-style attachment.
10. A connector according to any preceding claim, in which when the ferrule is inserted into the connector body, the resiliently compressible member urges the ferrule in a direction further into the connector body, thereby to reinforce the optical connection.
11. A connector according to claim 4 or any claim dependent thereon, in which, when the ferrule is fixed to the optical fibre a portion of the optical fibre extends beyond the front end of the ferrule, an end face of which portion forms the optical connection.
12. A connector according to any preceding claim, in which the ferrule, the resiliently compressible member, and the holder together comprise a discrete assembly arranged to be attached to the connector body.
13. An assembly for an optical fibre connector according to any preceding claim, the assembly comprising a said ferrule, a said resiliently compressible member and a said holder, whereby the holder holds the ferrule and the resiliently compressible member during insertion of the ferrule in the connector body of the connector.
14. A connector according to any one of claims 1 to 12, which comprises said connector body and two said ferrules, the connector being arranged to interconnect two optical fibres, and each ferrule arranged to be fixed to a respective fibre such that the fibre extends through the ferrule along an axis thereof.
15. A connector according to claim 14, in which the ferrules are arranged to be received coaxially within the connector body, thereby to form an in-line butt splice between the optical fibres.
16. A connector according to any preceding claim, wherein the holder and the resulting compressible member are shaped and arranged so that the resiliently compressible member is removable from the holder after the holder has been attached to the connector body to retain the ferrule in place.
17. A connector according to claim 16, wherein the holder and compressible member are shaped and arranged to permit re-use of the compressible member by insertion and removal thereof in and from a succession of similar holders for attachment to connector bodies.
18. A connector according to claim 17, arranged for insertion and removal of the compressible member via a lateral aperture in the holder body.
PCT/GB2003/002655 2002-07-16 2003-06-20 Optical fibre connector WO2004008210A1 (en)

Priority Applications (4)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB0216434A GB0216434D0 (en) 2002-07-16 2002-07-16 Optical fibre connector
GB0216434.1 2002-07-16
GB0307761.7 2003-04-04
GB0307761A GB0307761D0 (en) 2003-04-04 2003-04-04 Optical fibre connector

Publications (1)

Publication Number Publication Date
WO2004008210A1 true true WO2004008210A1 (en) 2004-01-22

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Family Applications (1)

Application Number Title Priority Date Filing Date
PCT/GB2003/002655 WO2004008210A1 (en) 2002-07-16 2003-06-20 Optical fibre connector

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Cited By (1)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2011025779A1 (en) * 2009-08-31 2011-03-03 Corning Cable Systems Llc Optical fiber termination holder and methods for using the same

Citations (5)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5285510A (en) * 1992-12-15 1994-02-08 The Whitaker Corporation Fiber optic connector
US5390269A (en) * 1992-12-23 1995-02-14 Methode Electronics, Inc. Fiber optic connector with high resolution tunable fiber holder
EP0586930B1 (en) * 1992-08-21 1998-04-08 Molex Incorporated Board mounted fiber optic connector
US6206580B1 (en) * 1997-12-12 2001-03-27 Yazaki Corporation Optical connector
EP0928978B1 (en) * 1997-12-22 2001-11-14 Lucent Technologies Inc. Connector for plastic optical fiber

Patent Citations (5)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
EP0586930B1 (en) * 1992-08-21 1998-04-08 Molex Incorporated Board mounted fiber optic connector
US5285510A (en) * 1992-12-15 1994-02-08 The Whitaker Corporation Fiber optic connector
US5390269A (en) * 1992-12-23 1995-02-14 Methode Electronics, Inc. Fiber optic connector with high resolution tunable fiber holder
US6206580B1 (en) * 1997-12-12 2001-03-27 Yazaki Corporation Optical connector
EP0928978B1 (en) * 1997-12-22 2001-11-14 Lucent Technologies Inc. Connector for plastic optical fiber

Cited By (2)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2011025779A1 (en) * 2009-08-31 2011-03-03 Corning Cable Systems Llc Optical fiber termination holder and methods for using the same
US8417085B2 (en) 2009-08-31 2013-04-09 Corning Cable Systems Llc Optical fiber termination holder and methods for using the same

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