Today’s high-performance optical fibers rely heavily on polymer materials engineering to achieve low-microbending susceptibility. The polymer coatings applied to the glass fiber for abrasion resistance strongly affect the sensitivity to external microbending forces. A dual-coated fiber with a soft inner coating and harder outer coating gives better performance than a single coating of the harder material.1 The soft inner coating acts to decouple the fiber from lateral loading in a cable structure. However, if the inner coating becomes too soft the fiber may buckle within the soft coating during environmental cycling.2,3 To be effective, the Inner coating must have a modulus in the correct range. In addition, the Inner coating must adhere to the glass during proof-testing and handling. Since submicron particles are always present In coatings, the relative motion of the coating-glass Interface can abrade the fiber. This study reports the use of in situ modulus and adhesion tests for developing high-performance inner coatings.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

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