Thermomechanical Mechanism for Delamination of Polymer Coatings From Optical Fibers

[+] Author and Article Information
W. W. King, C. J. Aloisio

Lucent Technologies/Bell Laboratories, 2000 Northeast Expressway, Norcross, GA 30071

J. Electron. Packag 119(2), 133-137 (Jun 01, 1997) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2792219 History: Received February 04, 1996; Revised December 07, 1996; Online November 06, 2007


Sometimes the polymer coating on an optical fiber is observed to have separated from the fiber over a small portion of the interface. Irregularities on the capstans and sheaves of draw, rewind, coloring, and cabling machines can initiate such delaminations. Subsequent growth would not be anticipated under the condition of radial compressive stress that might be expected for a coating shrinking over a relatively rigid fiber as the composite cools during manufacture. Compressive stress is indeed found at the interface when a single-layer coating is used. However, for a two-layer system, having a high-modulus secondary over a low-modulus primary (for improved protection against microbending), the different rates of thermal expansion can lead to radial tension at the silica/primary interface, and this tension can “drive” the growth of delaminations. A principal result of this study is that the analysis predicts the primary coating, although rubbery, to be approximately in a state of uniform hydrostatic tension. This tensile stress is of substantial magnitude because of constraints imposed by the relatively stiff secondary coating and by the fiber. The existence of significant radial tension at the fiber surface is consistent with experimental observations of induced delaminations, which are seen to grow long after cessation of external disturbances.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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