News Column

Patent Issued for Fiber Optic Cable End Fixture and Fiber Optic Cable End Fixing Method

August 27, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- A patent by the inventors Arao, Hajime (Yokohama, JP); Kato, Kiyoshi (Yokohama, JP), filed on May 12, 2011, was published online on August 12, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8801300 is assigned to Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. (Osaka-shi, Osaka, JP).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "As shown in FIG. 7, Patent Document 1 discloses a fiber optic cable end fixture 104 for a fiber optic cable 101 that simultaneously fixes both tension fibers 102 and a jacket 103 of the fiber optic cable 101 with a single member. Specifically, a swaging section 108 of a swaging ring 107 is adapted to surround the jacket 103 and the tension fibers 102 laid therebelow which are positioned on a guide section 106 of a stop ring 105, thereby simultaneously swaging and fixing both the tension fibers 102 and the jacket 103.

"For example, as shown in FIG. 8, Patent Document 2 discloses an end fixture 204 that fixes tension fibers 202 and a jacket 203 of a fiber optic cable 201. The end fixture 204 has an optical connector 205, a cylindrical support member 207 fitted into a fixing section 206 of the optical connector 205, and a fixing ring 208.

"The cylindrical support member 207 includes a cylindrical section 210 and plate-like turn-back pieces 211. The jacket 203 of the fiber optic cable 201 is fitted around the fixing section 206, and the tension fibers 202 are nipped between an outer periphery of the cylindrical section 210 and the turn-back pieces 211 via respective windows 212 of the turn-back pieces 211. Next, the jacket 203 and the tension fibers 202 are secured by moving the fixing ring 208 up to the fixing section 206 and the cylindrical support member 207 and subsequently swaging the fixing ring 208."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent: "Problem that the Invention is to Solve

"In Patent Document 1, the jacket 103 and the tension fibers 102 in a superposed state are simultaneously fixed by the swaging section 108 of the swaging ring 107. Hence, fixing work is simple; however, the tension fibers 102 often slide over the jacket 103 and become loosened. In Patent Document 2, the fixing ring 208 is fixedly swaged while the tension fibers 202 of the fiber optic cable 201 are nipped between the outer periphery of the cylindrical section 210 of the cylindrical support member 207 and the turn-back pieces 211. Therefore, the tension fibers 202 in a secured state hardly become loosened, but the tension fibers 202 must be manually passed through the respective windows 212. Thus, fixing operation becomes complicate.

"The present invention has been conceived in light of the circumstances and aims at providing a fiber optic cable end fixture and a fiber optic cable end fixing method that enable fixing of an end portion of a fiber optic cable with simple operation and that prevent fixed tension fibers from becoming loosened.

"Means for Solving the Problem

"In view of the above mentioned problems, the present invention provides a fiber optic cable end fixture for securing an end of a fiber optic cable, the fiber optic cable comprising: an optical fiber section; tension fibers enclosing the optical fiber; and a jacket covering the tension fibers, the fixture comprising: a joint member; a swaging member; and a fastening member, wherein the joint member has a cylindrical shape in which a through hole that allows insertion of the optical fiber section is formed, the joint member having: a joint section to be joined to another member; a male screw along which exposed end portions of the tension fibers are laid; and a cylindrical section to be covered with the jacket and the tension fibers. the cylindrical section being smaller in diameter than the male screw, wherein the swaging member has a ring shape and is fitted to the cylindrical section which is covered with the jacket and the tension fibers, wherein the fastening member has a cylindrical shape and has a female screw at one end of an inner peripheral surface thereof so as to be screw-engaged with the male screw along which the end portions of the tension fibers are laid, and wherein a tapered surface for swaging the swaging member is formed on at least one of the other end the inner peripheral surface of the fastening member or an outer peripheral surface of the swaging member.

"A swaging facilitation notch may be formed in the swaging member. A guide groove for laying the end portions of the tension fibers around the male screw along a circumferential direction may be formed in the male screw of the joint member. A recess and a protrusion that are engageable with each other may be formed in the swaging member and the joint member, respectively. A protruding piece that is engageable with the guide groove of the male screw of the joint member may be formed in the swaging member. The joint member may be formed from a metal.

"The present invention also provides a fiber optic cable end fixing method for securing an end of a fiber optic cable to a housing of an optical equipment by use of a fiber optic cable end fixture, the fiber optic cable comprising: an optical fiber section; tension fibers enclosing the optical fiber section; and a jacket covering the tension fibers, the fixture comprising: a joint member; a swaging member; and a fastening member, the method comprising: inserting the optical fiber section of the fiber optic cable into a through hole of the joint member having a cylindrical shape, the joint member having: a joint section to be joined to the housing of the optical equipment, a male screw, and a cylindrical section that is smaller in diameter than the male screw, while covering the small-diameter cylindrical section with the tension fibers and the jacket; laying end portions of the tension fibers exposed from an end of the jacket around a screw-engagement face of the male screw along a circumferential direction via a guide groove formed in the male screw; fitting the ring-shaped swaging member around an outside of the jacket covering the small-diameter cylindrical section of the joint member; and screw-engaging the cylindrical fastening member having: a female screw that is engageable with the male screw along which the end portions of the tension fibers are laid; and a tapered surface for swaging the swaging member.

"Advantage of the Invention

"According to the present invention, tension fibers of the fiber optic cable are fixed and nipped between the male screw of the joint member and the female screw of the fastening member, whereby the fixed tension fibers become hardly loosened and can be secured with high holding strength. Further, when the male screw of the joint member is screw-engaged with the female screw of the fastening member, the tapered surface swages the swaging member. Thus, the end of the fiber optic cable can be readily secured by one operation for fastening the fastening member to the joint member."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Arao, Hajime; Kato, Kiyoshi. Fiber Optic Cable End Fixture and Fiber Optic Cable End Fixing Method. U.S. Patent Number 8801300, filed May 12, 2011, and published online on August 12, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8801300.PN.&OS=PN/8801300RS=PN/8801300

Keywords for this news article include: Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd.

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Source: Journal of Engineering


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