Shin-Etsu offer a range of silicone materials suitable for optical fiber coating. The fiber coating application can be broken down into two categories, the “primary coating” through which the light or data must pass and the “buffer coating” whose optical properties must be different than the primary coating.
Shin-Etsu offer a range of silicone materials suitable for optical fiber coating.
Depending on the equipment and method of polymerization (UV Cure of Heat Cure), different categories of products are available. Refer to the figure below.
Primary Coating Material
For the primary coating, there is one heat-cure product (OF-182), and two UV-cure products (OF-211 and OF-212). These products exhibit specific optical properties as the light (data) travels through this layer. For these applications a refractive index of 1.49 — 1.52 is required and all these products have refractive indices that fall in this range.
Buffer Coating Material
The buffer coating material is used to keep the light (data) within the fiber core and thus requires a material with a much lower refractive index, typically in the 1.41 — 1.44 range. For this application, there are two heat cure products (OF-101 and OF-180) and two UV-cure products (OF-207 and OF-208).
These materials are suitable for normal telecon fibers coated with 400µm — 500µm thicknesses at line speeds of 100 to 500 m/min.