(19)
(11)EP 2 734 881 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
08.05.2019 Bulletin 2019/19

(21)Application number: 12817330.9

(22)Date of filing:  19.07.2012
(51)Int. Cl.: 
G02B 6/38  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2012/047402
(87)International publication number:
WO 2013/016135 (31.01.2013 Gazette  2013/05)

(54)

FIBER OPTIC CONNECTOR AND CABLE ASSEMBLY HAVING A FIBER LOCKING MECHANISM

GLASFASERSTECKER UND KABELANORDNUNG MIT EINEM FASERVERRIEGELUNGSMECHANISMUS

ASSEMBLAGE DE CONNECTEUR ET DE CÂBLE DE FIBRE OPTIQUE COMPORTANT UN MÉCANISME DE VERROUILLAGE DE FIBRE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 22.07.2011 US 201161510888 P
24.08.2011 US 201161526996 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
28.05.2014 Bulletin 2014/22

(73)Proprietor: ADC Telecommunications, INC.
Berwyn, Pennsylvania 19312 (US)

(72)Inventor:
  • LU, Yu
    Eden Prairie, MN 55347 (US)

(74)Representative: Patentanwälte Bressel und Partner mbB 
Potsdamer Platz 10
10785 Berlin
10785 Berlin (DE)


(56)References cited: : 
US-A- 5 673 352
US-A1- 2009 136 184
US-B1- 6 493 491
US-A1- 2008 175 541
US-A1- 2009 148 101
US-B1- 7 621 675
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD



    [0001] The present disclosure relates generally to a fiber optic connector and cable assembly.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] Fiber optic communication systems are becoming prevalent in part because service providers want to deliver high bandwidth communication capabilities (e.g., data and voice) to customers. Fiber optic communication systems employ a network of fiber optic cables to transmit large volumes of data and voice signals over relatively long distances. Optical fiber connectors are an important part of most fiber optic communication systems. Fiber optic connectors allow two optical fibers to be quickly optically connected without requiring a splice. Fiber optic connectors can be used to optically interconnect two lengths of optical fiber. Fiber optic connectors can also be used to interconnect lengths of optical fiber to passive and active equipment.

    [0003] A typical fiber optic connector includes a ferrule assembly supported at a distal end of a connector housing. A spring is used to bias the ferrule assembly in a distal direction relative to the connector housing. The ferrule functions to support an end portion of at least one optical fiber (in the case of a multi-fiber ferrule, the ends of multiple fibers are supported). The ferrule has a distal end face at which a polished end of the optical fiber is located. When two fiber optic connectors are interconnected, the distal end faces of the ferrules abut one another and the ferrules are forced proximally relative to their respective connector housings against the bias of their respective springs. With the fiber optic connectors connected, their respective optical fibers are coaxially aligned such that the end faces of the optical fibers directly oppose one another. In this way, an optical signal can be transmitted from optical fiber to optical fiber through the aligned end faces of the optical fibers. For many fiber optic connector styles, alignment between two fiber optic connectors is provided through the use of an intermediate fiber optic adapter.

    [0004] A fiber optic connector is often secured to the end of a corresponding fiber optic cable by anchoring strength structures of the cable to the connector housing of the connector. Anchoring is typically accomplished through the use of conventional techniques such as crimps or adhesive. Anchoring the strength structures of the cable to the connector housing is advantageous because it allows tensile load applied to the cable to be transferred from the strength structures of the cable directly to the connector housing. In this way, the tensile load is not transferred to the ferrule assembly of the fiber optic connector. If the tensile load were to be applied to the ferrule assembly, such tensile load could cause the ferrule assembly to be pulled in a proximal direction against the bias of the connector spring thereby possibly causing an optical disconnection between the connector and its corresponding mated connector. Fiber optic connectors of the type described above can be referred to as pull-proof connectors.

    [0005] US 2009/0148101 A1 discloses a fiber optic connector and cable assembly, comprising a fiber optic connector including a connector housing having a distal end and a proximal end. The fiber optic connector including a ferrule assembly having a ferrule and a spring, the ferrule having a distal end face that is accessible at the distal end of the connector housing, the spring being between the distal end and the proximal end of the connector housing, the spring biasing the ferrule in a distal direction relative to the connector housing, the ferrule being movable in a proximal direction relative to the fiber optic connector from a distal position to a proximal position. The distal position and the proximal positon are separated by an axial displacement distance and a proximal movement of the ferrule is against a bias of the spring. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly comprises a cable having at least one fiber, a cable jacket that contacts the fiber and first and second strength members on opposite sides of the fiber. A pressure clamp can be used to secure the cable. Because the strength members are much larger in size than the fiber, the force of the clamp compresses down on the strength members but does not clamp down on the fibers.

    [0006] US 2008/0175541 A1 teaches a similar fiber optic connector and cable assembly. The US 2008/0175541 A1 further teaches a cable including a buffer tube with one fiber, strength members positioned on opposite sides of the buffer tube. The buffer tube and the strength members are positioned within an outer jacket of the cable.

    [0007] US 2009/0148101 A1 teaches a further similar fiber optic connector and cable assembly. The US 2009/0148101 A1 further teaches a cable including an outer jacket, a buffer tube positioned around an optical fiber and strength members positioned on opposite sides of the buffer tube. The buffer tube and strength are positioned within the outer jacket.

    [0008] The technical problem is to provide an improved fiber optic connector and cable assembly.

    [0009] The technical problem is solved by a fiber optic connector and cable assembly with the features of claim 1. Further embodiments are mentioned in the dependent claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0010] 

    Fig. 1 is a schematic section view of an embodiment of a fiber optic cable and fiber optic connector in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

    Fig. 2 is a top view of an embodiment of a fiber optic cable having an open window in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

    Fig. 3 is an isometric, cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the fiber optic cable illustrated in Fig. 2 in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

    Fig. 4 is a top view of an embodiment of a fiber optic cable having an open window in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

    Fig. 5 is an isometric, cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the fiber optic cable illustrated in Fig. 4 in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure;

    Fig. 6 is a top view of an embodiment of a fiber optic cable having an open window in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure; and

    Fig. 7 is an isometric, cross-sectional view of an embodiment of the fiber optic cable illustrated in Fig. 6 in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION



    [0011] Figure 1 illustrates a first fiber optic connector 20 connected to a fiber optic cable 46 to form a fiber optic connector and cable assembly 100 in accordance with the principles of the present disclosure. The fiber optic connector 20 has a connector housing 32 that extends from a distal end 22 of the fiber optic connector 20 to a proximal end 24 of the fiber optic connector 20. The fiber optic connector 20 includes a ferrule assembly 26 that mounts adjacent the distal end 22 of the connector housing 32. The ferrule assembly 26 includes a ferrule 28, a hub and a spring 31. The ferrule assembly 26 mounts at least partially within the fiber optic connector 20. The proximal end 24 of the fiber optic connector 20 is configured to receive, anchor and provide strain relief/bend radius protection to a fiber optic cable 46.

    [0012] The fiber optic cable 46 includes a cable jacket 48 surrounding at least one optical fiber 50 that is locked into place with an anchor mechanism 51. The fiber optic cable 46 also includes at least one strength structure 52 formed by one or more strength members (e.g., reinforcing fibers such as aramid yarn/Kevlar). In some embodiments, the anchor mechanism 51, is any suitable device, system, or mechanism for anchoring the at least one optical fiber 50 either directly to the at least one strength structure 52 or indirectly to the at least one strength member 52 through an intermediate structure, such as the cable jacket 48. Accordingly, the anchor mechanism 51 anchors the at least one optical fiber 50 relative to the at least one strength structure 52. In an alternative embodiment, the anchor mechanism 51 is any suitable device, system, or mechanism for anchoring the at least one optical fiber 50 to the cable jacket 48.

    [0013] At the anchor location, the anchor mechanism 51 prevents relative axial movement between the at least one strength member 52 and the at least one optical fiber 50. In some embodiments, when the at least one optical fiber 50 is indirectly anchored to the at least one strength member 52 by the anchor mechanism 51, the anchor mechanism 51 prevents relative axial movement at the anchor location between the at least one optical fiber 50, the at least one strength member 52, and the intermediate structure. Accordingly, the anchor mechanism 51 provides for connection reliability and reliable optical performance. Preferably, the anchor mechanism 51 is positioned at a fiber anchoring location that is not at or coextensive with an optical fiber splice location.

    [0014] FIGS. 1-5 illustrate example embodiments of a fiber optic cable 46. FIG. 1 illustrates an embodiment of a fiber optic cable 46 with four optical fibers 50. It is appreciated that any number of optical fibers 50, such as 1, 4, 8, 12, or etc., may be utilized by the present disclosure. The fiber optic cable 46 also includes at least one strength structure 52 formed by one or more strength members (e.g., reinforcing fibers such as aramid yarn/Kevlar). FIG. 1 illustrates an example embodiment of two strength structures 52. It is appreciated that any number of strength structures 52, such as 1, 2, 3, 4, or etc., may be utilized by the present disclosure. In some embodiments, not illustrated, the at least one strength structure 52 is a strength layer formed around the at least one optical fiber 50. The at least one optical fiber 50 is routed through an open space in the total length of the fiber optic cable 46 and through a fiber passage in the total length of the fiber optic connector 20. The at least one optical fiber 50 further includes a distal portion secured within the ferrule 28. Further details regarding a fiber optic cable are found in U.S. Application Serial No. 12/607,748, filed on October 10, 2009.

    [0015] It will be appreciated that the fiber optic connector 20 is adapted to be mechanically coupled to a like fiber optic connector by an intermediate fiber optic adapter. Further details regarding the fiber optic adapter are found in U.S. Patent No. 5,214,730.

    [0016] Referring to Fig. 1, the ferrule 28 of the ferrule assembly 26 includes a distal end face and a proximal end face. The distal end face of the ferrule 28 is positioned distally outwardly beyond a distal end 22 of the connector housing 32 and the proximal end face of the ferrule 28 is positioned within the connector housing 32. When the connector housing 32 is assembled as shown at Fig. 1, the ferrule hub and the spring 31 are captured between the distal end 22 and the proximal end 24 of the connector housing 32. As so configured, the spring 31 is configured to bias the ferrule 28 in a distal direction relative to the connector housing 32. Accordingly the ferrule 28 is movable in a proximal direction relative to the fiber optic connector 20 from a distal position to a proximal position. The distal position and the proximal position are separated by an axial displacement distance AD. Thus, the proximal movement of the ferrule 28 is against a bias of the spring 31. When two of the fiber optic connectors 20 are interconnected, their ferrules 28 are forced to move in proximal directions relative to their respective connector housings 32 against the bias of their respective springs 31. The movement is along the central axes of the mated fiber optic connectors 20.

    [0017] The at least one strength structure 52 provides tensile reinforcement to the fiber optic cable 46. In addition to providing tensile strength to the fiber optic cable 46, in some embodiments, the at least one strength structure 52 also functions as a separator for separating the at least one optical fiber 50 from the cable jacket 48. For example, in some embodiments, the at least one strength member 52 is positioned between the at least one optical fiber 50 and the jacket 48. In some embodiments, the at least one strength structure 52 is attached to the cable jacket 48. In other embodiments, the at least one strength structure 52 is not attached to the jacket 48 and slides within the cable jacket 48. Further details regarding the strength structure are found in U.S. Patent Application Publication No. 2009/0297104, filed on May 28, 2009.

    [0018] As discussed above, in some embodiments, the anchor mechanism 51, is any suitable device, system, or mechanism for anchoring the at least one optical fiber 50 relative to the at least one strength structure 52. For example, the anchor mechanism 51 either directly anchors the at least one optical fiber 50 to the at least one strength member 52 or indirectly anchors the at least one optical fiber 50 to the at least one strength member 52 through an intermediate structure. In one embodiment, when the at least one strength structure 52 is attached to the cable jacket 48, the anchor mechanism 51 anchors the at least one optical fiber 50 to the cable jacket 48 and/or the strength structure 52. In another embodiment, when the at least one strength structure 52 is not attached to the cable jacket 48, the anchor mechanism 51 anchors the at least one optical fiber 50 to the at least one strength structure 52. As discussed above, in alternative embodiments, the anchor mechanism 51, is any suitable device, system, or mechanism for anchoring the at least one optical fiber 50 to the cable jacket 48.

    [0019] As shown in Fig. 1, the at least one optical fiber 50 extends through a fiber passage extending the total length of the fiber optic connector 20. For example, the at least one optical fiber 50 extends through the connector housing 32 and the ferrule 28. In certain embodiments, a portion of the at least one optical fiber 50 extending proximally from the ferrule 28 through the fiber optic connector 20 to the jacketed portion of the fiber optic cable 46 includes a core, cladding layer and one or more coating layers. In some embodiments, the portion of the at least one optical fiber 50 extending through the ferrule 28 includes the core and the cladding layer.

    [0020] The fiber optic connector 20 is a pull-proof connector in which the at least one strength structure 52 of the fiber optic cable 46 is anchored to the connector housing 32 thereby preventing tensile loads from being transferred to the ferrule assembly 26. Because of this configuration, movement of the ferrule 28 in a proximal direction relative to the connector housing 32 causes the at least one optical fiber 50 to be forced/displaced in a proximal direction relative to the connector housing 32 and the jacket 48 of the fiber optic cable 46. In the depicted embodiment, the ferrule 28 has a maximum axial displacement AD in the proximal direction during the connection process. The axial displacement AD creates an excess length of fiber having a length equal to the length of the axial displacement AD.

    [0021] The at least one optical fiber 50 can also be affected and/or displaced by axial stretching, axial pulling, axial shrinking, axial shortening, and/or coiling of the jacket 48 of the fiber optic cable 46.

    [0022] Absent the anchor mechanism 51, axial elongation of the jacket 48 can cause tension to be transferred to the one or more optical fibers 50 causing the one or more optical fibers 50 to pull back on the ferrule 28 against the bias of the spring 31. With the ferrule 28 pulled back, the ability to provide an effective optical connection with another optical connector can be compromised. In the case of multi-fiber ferrules, the pull back force transferred from the optical fibers 50 to the ferrule 28 can easily overcome the spring load of the spring 31 without exceeding the breaking points of the individual optical fibers 50. Absent the anchor mechanism 51, axial shrinking/shortening of the jacket 48 caused by temperature variations or coiling of the cable can cause excess optical fiber length to be forced inside the connector 20 thereby causing microbending of the optical fibers 50 and signal degradation.

    [0023] With regard to the undesirable movement of the ferrule 28 and the at least one fiber as described above, the anchor mechanism 51 of the present disclosure lessens and/or prevents this undesirable movement of the ferrule 28 and the at least one optical fiber 50. Accordingly, the anchor mechanism 51 described herein provides for a fiber optic connector and cable assembly 100 that has more reliable connections and more reliable optical performance than previously utilized fiber optic cable and connector assemblies that do not utilize an anchor mechanism 51.

    [0024] As discussed above, the anchor mechanism 51 may be any suitable device, system, or mechanism for anchoring the at least one optical fiber 50 into place within the fiber optic cable 46. The anchor mechanism 51 prevents an axial load on the at least one optical fiber 50 from transferring through the at least one optical fiber 50 in either direction across the anchor mechanism 51. The prevention of load transfer, prevents any optical fiber movement within the open space of the fiber optic cable 46 from being transferred to the distal end of the at least one optical fiber 50 that is secured to the ferrule 28. However, the prevention of load transfer will also prevent movement of the at least one optical fiber 50 cause by any axial displacement of the ferrule 28 from being transferred across the anchor mechanism 51.
    Accordingly, the location of the anchor mechanism 51 in the fiber optic cable 46 is located at a predetermined distance D from the proximal end 24 of the connector housing 32. The predetermined distance D is enough distance to accommodate acceptable macrobending of the at least one optical fiber 50 in response to the axial displacement AD of the ferrule 28. Further, the fiber optic cable 46 has a diameter that is large enough to take-up an excess length of the at least one optical fiber 50 that corresponds to the axial displacement distance of the ferrule 28 to accommodate for acceptable macrobending of the at least one optical fiber 50.

    [0025] For example, the predetermined distance D may be adjacent to the fiber optic connector 20 if the fiber optic connector 20 itself includes an internal fiber take-up region_(e.g., see the fiber optic connector disclosed in U.S. Patent Application No. 13/420,286, entitled Fiber Optic Connector that claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application having Attorney Docket No. 02316.3202USP2 and Application Serial No. 61/510,711, filed on the date concurrent herewith. However, if the fiber optic connector 20 does not include a fiber take-up region, the predetermined distance D preferably provides enough space within the fiber optic cable 46 to accommodate acceptable macrobending of the at least one optical fiber 50 in response to the axial displacement AD of the ferrule 28. In some embodiments, the predetermined distance is from about 12.7 cm (5 inches) to about 0.914 m (3 feet). In some embodiments, the predetermined distance is from about 15.24 cm (6 inches) to about 0.457 m (1.5 feet). In further embodiments, the predetermined distance is from about 0.305 m (1 foot) to about 0.61 (2 feet). In further embodiments, the predetermined distance is from about 1 foot. In other embodiments, the predetermined distance is from about 0.457 m (1.5 feet) to about 0.762 m (2.5 feet).

    [0026] In some embodiments, the anchor mechanism 51 is an adhesive, a curable substance, and/or a securing medium, such as epoxy. In some embodiments, the adhesive is injected with a needle through the cable jacket 48 into the open space of the fiber optic cable 46. In other embodiments, a cable jacket 48 is cut open to create an open window 60 through which the adhesive is applied to the at least one optical fiber 50. In these embodiments, the open window 60 may be sealed by utilizing a heat shrink wrap applied over the cable jacket 48.

    [0027] In other embodiments, the anchor mechanism 51 is a permanently deformed portion of the cable jacket 48 that has been deformed by a hot press of the cable jacket 48 to lock the at least one optical fiber 50 in place within the fiber optic cable 46. In other embodiments, the anchor mechanism 51 is a heat shrink wrap or crimp applied over the cable jacket 48 to compress the cable jacket 48 to lock the at least one optical fiber 50 in place within the fiber optic cable 46.

    [0028] In some embodiments, the anchor mechanism 51 includes a locking device such as a clip or retainer secured to the inside of the jacket 48. The locking device can be placed at least partially inside the fiber optic cable 46 through an open window 60 in the jacket 48. The locking device is a solid structure located at least partially within the jacket 48 and holds or locks the at least one fiber in place relative to the at least one strength structure 52, such as a clip. The locking device may include a biasing member and/or one or more catches 54 for locking the clip or crimp into place within the open space of the fiber optic cable 46. The catches 54 inhibit axial movement of the locking devices relative to the at least one strength structure 52. In some embodiments, the anchor mechanism 51 utilizes an adhesive in addition to the locking device. The locking devices can include receptacles (e.g., channels, openings, pockets, etc.) for receiving the optical fibers 50. Adhesive can be used to anchor the optical fibers 50 within the receptacles. As discussed above, in some embodiments, the open window 60 is sealed by utilizing a heat shrink layer around the fiber optic cable 46 to seal off the open window 60.

    [0029] FIGS. 2, 4, and 6 illustrates a top view of an embodiment of a fiber optic cable 46 having an open window 60. FIGS. 3, 5, and 7 illustrate a cross-sectional view of an embodiment of a fiber optic cable 46. FIGS. 2, 4, and 6 illustrate an anchor mechanism 51 shown in the open window 60 of the fiber optic cable 46. The anchor mechanisms 51 in FIGS. 2, 4, and 6 are each a view of a different locking device. FIGS. 3, 4, and 5 each show an isometric, cross-section view of the different locking devices illustrated in FIGS. 2, 4, and 6. For example, the locking devices illustrated in FIGS. 3, 4, and 5 show different embodiments of a clip that has one or more catches 54. Catches 54 embed into the intermediate structure, such as the cable jacket 48, and/or the at least one strength structure 52 to lock the clip into place in the open space within the fiber optic cable 46. In some embodiments, the clips further include a biasing member. In some embodiments the biasing member biases the one or more catches 54 into the intermediate structure and/or the at least one strength structure 52. In other embodiments, the anchor mechanism 51 further includes the use of adhesive to lock the at least one optical fiber 50 into place within the fiber optic cable 46.

    [0030] For example, the clip illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 has an open portion 56 that opens toward the open window 60. Further, the clip illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3 has five catches 54 that embed into the cable jacket 48.

    [0031] The clip illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 has an open portion 56 that opens away from the open window 60. Further, the clip illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 has four catches 54 that embed into the cable jacket 48. The clip illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 also include a biasing member. The biasing member is inherent to the clip and biases or pushes curved ends 55 and the catches 54 of the clip into the cable jacket 48.

    [0032] The clip illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 has an open portion 56 that opens toward the open window 60. Further, the clip illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 has two catches 54 that embed into the cable jacket 48. The clip illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 also include a biasing member for embedding the clip and the catches 54 into the cable jacket 48. Additionally, the clip illustrated in FIGS. 6 and 7 include two wings or clasps 58 for anchoring the clip into a position within the cable jacket 48.

    [0033] Numerous other changes may be made which will readily suggest themselves to those skilled in the art and which are encompassed as defined in the claims. While various embodiments have been described for purposes of this disclosure, various changes and modifications may be made which are well within the scope of the present claims.


    Claims

    1. A fiber optic connector and cable assembly (100) comprising:

    a fiber optic connector (20) including a connector housing (32) having a distal end (22) and a proximal end (24);

    the fiber optic connector (20) including a ferrule assembly (26) having a ferrule (28) and a spring (31), the ferrule (28) having a distal end face that is accessible at the distal end (22) of the connector housing (32), the spring (31) being between the distal end (22) and the proximal end (24) of the connector housing (32), the spring (31) biasing the ferrule (28) in a distal direction relative to the connector housing (32), the ferrule (28) being movable in a proximal direction relative to the fiber optic connector (20) from a distal position to a proximal position, the distal position and the proximal position being separated by an axial displacement distance (AD), a proximal movement of the ferrule (28) being against a bias of the spring (31);

    a fiber optic cable (46) including at least one optical fiber (50) contained within a cable jacket (48), the fiber optic cable (46) also including at least one strength structure (52) for providing tensile reinforcement to the fiber optic cable (46), the at least one strength structure (52) being anchored to the connector housing (32) adjacent the proximal end (24) of the connector housing (32), the at least one optical fiber (50) extending through a fiber passage of the fiber optic connector (20) from the proximal end (24) of the connector housing (32) to the ferrule (28), the at least one optical fiber (50) having a distal portion potted within the ferrule (28); and

    the at least one optical fiber being anchored at an anchoring location positioned within the fiber optic cable, the anchoring location being spaced from the proximal end (24) of the connector housing, the part of the at least one optical fiber (50) extending through a fiber passage of the fiber optic connector from the proximal end (24) of the connector housing (32) to the ferrule (28) being anchored to at least one of the cable jacket (48) and the at least one strength structure (52) to prevent axial movement of the at least one optical fiber relative to at least one of the cable jacket and the at least one strength structure at the anchoring location.


     
    2. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the anchoring location prevents an axial load on the at least one optical fiber (50) from transferring across the anchoring location.
     
    3. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the anchoring location is about 12,7 cm to about 0,914 m away from a proximal end (24) of the connector housing (32).
     
    4. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 3, wherein the fiber optic cable (46) has diameter that is large enough to take-up an excess length of the at least one optical fiber (50) that corresponds to the axial displacement distance (AD) of the ferrule (28) to accommodate for acceptable macrobending of the at least one optical fiber (50).
     
    5. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one optical fiber is anchored by an adhesive.
     
    6. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the anchoring location is a permanently deformed portion of the cable j acket (48) by a hot press of the cable jacket (48) to lock the at least one optical fiber (50) in place within the fiber optic cable (46).
     
    7. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one optical fiber is anchored by a heat shrink that is applied over the cable jacket (48).
     
    8. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one optical fiber is anchored by a locking device.
     
    9. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 8, wherein the locking device is a clip.
     
    10. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 9, wherein the clip has at least one catch (54) that embeds into at least one of the at least one strength structure (52) and the cable jacket (48) to lock the clip into place in an open space within the fiber optic cable (46); wherein the clip further includes a biasing member to lock the clip into place in the open space within the fiber optic cable (46).
     
    11. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 8, wherein the locking device has a biasing member to hold the locking device into place in an open space within the fiber optic cable (46).
     
    12. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 8, wherein the locking device is inserted into the fiber optic cable (46) through an open window (60) on the cable jacket (48).
     
    13. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 8, wherein the at least one optical fiber is further anchored by an adhesive.
     
    14. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one strength structure (52) is attached to the cable jacket (48), and wherein the at least one optical fiber (50) is anchored directly to the at least one strength structure (52) at the anchoring location.
     
    15. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one strength structure (52) is attached to the cable jacket (48); and the at least one optical fiber (50) being anchored indirectly to the at least one strength structure (52) by anchoring the at least one optical fiber (50) to the cable jacket (48) at the anchoring location.
     
    16. The fiber optic connector and cable assembly of claim 1, wherein the at least one strength structure (52) is not attached to the cable jacket (48); and wherein the at least one optical fiber (50) is anchored directly to the at least one strength structure (52) at the anchoring location.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe (100), die Folgendes umfasst:

    einen Faseroptikverbinder (20) einschließlich eines Verbindergehäuses (32) mit einem distalen Ende (22) und einem proximalen Ende (24);

    wobei der Faseroptikverbinder (20) eine Ferrulenbaugruppe (26) mit einer Ferrule (28) und einer Feder (31) beinhaltet, wobei die Ferrule (28) eine distale Endfläche aufweist, die an dem distalen Ende (22) des Verbindergehäuses (32) zugänglich ist, wobei sich die Feder (31) zwischen dem distalen Ende (22) und dem proximalen Ende (24) des Verbindergehäuses (32) befindet, wobei die Feder (31) die Ferrule (28) in einer distalen Richtung relativ zu dem Verbindergehäuse (32) vorspannt, wobei die Ferrule (28) in einer proximalen Richtung relativ zu dem Faseroptikverbinder (20) aus einer distalen Position zu einer proximalen Position beweglich ist, wobei die distale Position und die proximale Position durch einen axialen Verschiebungsabstand (AD) getrennt sind, wobei eine proximale Bewegung der Ferrule (28) gegen eine Vorspannung der Feder (31) ist;

    ein Faseroptikkabel (46) einschließlich wenigstens einer optischen Faser (50), die innerhalb einer Kabelhülle (48) enthalten ist, wobei das Faseroptikkabel (46) auch wenigstens eine Festigkeitsstruktur (52) zum Bereitstellen einer Zugverstärkung für das Faseroptikkabel (46) bereitstellt, wobei die wenigstens eine Festigkeitsstruktur (52) an dem Verbindergehäuse (32) angrenzend an das proximale Ende (24) des Verbindergehäuses (32) verankert ist, wobei sich die wenigstens eine optische Faser (50) durch einen Faserdurchgang des Faseroptikverbinders (20) von dem proximalen Ende (24) des Verbindergehäuses (32) zu der Ferrule (28) erstreckt, wobei die wenigstens eine optische Faser (50) einen distalen Teil aufweist, der innerhalb der Ferrule (28) vergossen ist; und

    wobei die wenigstens eine optische Faser an einer Verankerungsstelle verankert ist, die innerhalb des Faseroptikkabels positioniert ist, wobei die Verankerungsstelle von dem proximalen Ende (24) des Verbindergehäuses beabstandet ist, wobei der Teil der wenigstens einen optischen Faser (50), der sich durch einen Faserdurchgang des Faseroptikverbinders von dem proximalen Ende (24) des Verbindergehäuses (32) zu der Ferrule (28) erstreckt, an der Kabelhülle (48) und/oder der wenigstens einen Festigkeitsstruktur (52) verankert ist, um eine axiale Bewegung der wenigstens einen optischen Faser relativ zu der Kabelhülle und/oder der wenigstens einen Festigkeitsstruktur bei der Verankerungsstelle zu verhindern.


     
    2. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Verankerungsstelle verhindert, dass eine axiale Belastung auf der wenigstens einen optischen Faser (50) über die Verankerungsstelle hinaus übertragen wird.
     
    3. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Verankerungsstelle etwa 12,7 cm bis etwa 0,914 m von einem proximalen Ende (24) des Verbindergehäuses (32) entfernt ist.
     
    4. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 3, wobei das Faseroptikkabel (46) einen Durchmesser aufweist, der groß genug ist, um eine Überschusslänge der wenigstens einen optischen Faser (50) aufzunehmen, die dem axialen Verschiebungsabstand (AD) der Ferrule (28) entspricht, um eine akzeptable Makrobiegung der wenigstens einen optischen Faser (50) zu berücksichtigen.
     
    5. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 1, wobei die wenigstens eine optische Faser durch einen Klebstoff verankert ist.
     
    6. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Verankerungsstelle ein durch Heißpressen der Kabelhülle (48) permanent verformter Teil der Kabelhülle (48) ist, um die wenigstens eine optische Faser (50) innerhalb des Faseroptikkabels (46) an der Stelle zu arretieren.
     
    7. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 1, wobei die wenigstens eine optische Faser durch ein Schrumpfelement verankert wird, das über der Kabelhülle (48) aufgebracht wird.
     
    8. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 1, wobei die wenigstens eine optische Faser durch eine Arretierungsvorrichtung verankert ist.
     
    9. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Arretierungsvorrichtung eine Klammer ist.
     
    10. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 9, wobei die Klammer wenigstens eine Rastung (54) aufweist, die in die wenigstens eine Festigkeitsstruktur (52) und/oder die Kabelhülle (48) eingebettet ist, um die Klammer in einem offenen Raum innerhalb des Faseroptikkabels (46) an ihrer Stelle zu arretieren; wobei die Klammer ferner ein Vorspannungselement beinhaltet, um die Klammer in dem offenen Raum innerhalb des Faseroptikkabels (46) an ihrer Stelle zu arretieren.
     
    11. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Arretierungsvorrichtung ein Vorspannungselement aufweist, um die Arretierungsvorrichtung in einem offenen Raum innerhalb des Faseroptikkabels (46) an ihrer Stelle zu halten.
     
    12. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Arretierungsvorrichtung durch ein offenes Fenster (60) auf der Kabelhülle (48) in das Faseroptikkabel (46) eingefügt ist.
     
    13. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 8, wobei die wenigstens eine optische Faser ferner durch einen Klebstoff verankert ist.
     
    14. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 1, wobei die wenigstens eine Festigkeitsstruktur (52) an der Kabelhülle (48) angebracht ist und wobei die wenigstens eine optische Faser (50) bei der Verankerungsstelle direkt an der wenigstens einen Festigkeitsstruktur (52) verankert ist.
     
    15. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 1, wobei die wenigstens eine Festigkeitsstruktur (52) an der Kabelhülle (48) angebracht ist; und die wenigstens eine optische Faser (50) indirekt an der wenigstens einen Festigkeitsstruktur (52) verankert ist, indem die wenigstens eine optische Faser (50) bei der Verankerungsstelle an der Kabelhülle (48) verankert wird.
     
    16. Faseroptikverbinder-und-Kabel-Baugruppe nach Anspruch 1, wobei die wenigstens eine Festigkeitsstruktur (52) nicht an der Kabelhülle (48) angebracht ist; und wobei die wenigstens eine optische Faser (50) bei der Verankerungsstelle direkt an der wenigstens einen Festigkeitsstruktur (52) verankert ist.
     


    Revendications

    1. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques (100) comprenant :

    un connecteur de fibre optique (20) comprenant un boîtier de connecteur (32) ayant une extrémité distale (22) et une extrémité proximale (24) ;

    le connecteur de fibre optique (20) comprenant un ensemble virole (26) ayant une virole (28) et un ressort (31), la virole (28) ayant une face d'extrémité distale qui est accessible au niveau de l'extrémité distale (22) du boîtier de connecteur (32), le ressort (31) se trouvant entre l'extrémité distale (22) et l'extrémité proximale (24) du boîtier de connecteur (32), le ressort (31) sollicitant la virole (28) dans une direction distale par rapport au boîtier de connecteur (32), la virole (28) étant mobile dans une direction proximale par rapport au connecteur de fibre optique (20) à partir d'une position distale jusqu'à une position proximale, la position distale et la position proximale étant séparées par une distance de déplacement axial (AD), un mouvement proximal de la virole (28) étant à l'encontre d'une sollicitation du ressort (31) ;

    un câble à fibres optiques (46) comprenant au moins une fibre optique (50) contenue à l'intérieur d'une gaine de câble (48), le câble à fibres optiques (46) comprenant également au moins une structure robuste (52) pour fournir un renfort en traction au câble à fibres optiques (46), la ou les structures robustes (52) étant ancrées au boîtier de connecteur (32) de manière adjacente à l'extrémité proximale (24) du boîtier de connecteur (32), la ou les fibres optiques (50) s'étendant à travers un passage de fibre du connecteur de fibre optique (20) à partir de l'extrémité proximale (24) du boîtier de connecteur (32) jusqu'à la virole (28), la ou les fibres optiques (50) ayant une partie distale encapsulée à l'intérieur de la virole (28) ; et

    la ou les fibres optiques étant ancrées au niveau d'un emplacement d'ancrage positionné à l'intérieur du câble à fibres optiques, l'emplacement d'ancrage étant espacé de l'extrémité proximale (24) du boîtier de connecteur, la partie de la ou des fibres optiques (50) s'étendant à travers un passage de fibre du connecteur de fibre optique à partir de l'extrémité proximale (24) du boîtier de connecteur (32) jusqu'à la virole (28) qui est ancrée à la gaine de câble (48) et/ou à la ou aux structures robustes (52) pour empêcher un mouvement axial de la ou des fibres optiques par rapport à la gaine de câble et/ou à la ou aux structures robustes au niveau de l'emplacement d'ancrage.


     
    2. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'emplacement d'ancrage empêche un transfert d'une charge axiale sur la ou les fibres optiques (50) d'un côté à l'autre de l'emplacement d'ancrage.
     
    3. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'emplacement d'ancrage est compris entre environ 12,7 cm et environ 0,914 m à distance d'une extrémité proximale (24) du boîtier de connecteur (32) .
     
    4. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 3, dans lequel le câble à fibres optiques (46) présente un diamètre qui est assez important pour prendre une longueur en excès de la ou des fibres optiques (50) qui correspond à la distance de déplacement axial (AD) de la virole (28) pour tenir compte d'une macrocourbure acceptable de la ou des fibres optiques (50).
     
    5. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la ou les fibres optiques sont ancrées au moyen d'un adhésif.
     
    6. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'emplacement d'ancrage est une partie déformée de manière permanente de la gaine de câble (48) au moyen d'un pressage à chaud de la gaine de câble (48) pour verrouiller la ou les fibres optiques (50) en place à l'intérieur du câble à fibres optiques (46).
     
    7. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la ou les fibres optiques sont ancrées au moyen d'une thermorétractation qui est appliquée sur la gaine de câble (48).
     
    8. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la ou les fibres optiques sont ancrées par un dispositif de verrouillage.
     
    9. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le dispositif de verrouillage est une attache.
     
    10. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 9, dans lequel l'attache comporte au moins un loquet (54) qui s'intègre dans au moins une structure robuste (52) et/ou dans la gaine de câble (48) pour verrouiller l'attache en place dans un espace ouvert à l'intérieur du câble à fibres optiques (46) ; dans lequel l'attache comprend en outre un élément de sollicitation pour verrouiller l'attache en place dans l'espace ouvert à l'intérieur du câble à fibres optiques (46).
     
    11. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le dispositif de verrouillage comporte un élément de sollicitation pour maintenir le dispositif de verrouillage en place dans un espace ouvert à l'intérieur du câble à fibres optiques (46).
     
    12. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le dispositif de verrouillage est inséré dans le câble à fibres optiques (46) à travers une fenêtre ouverte (60) sur la gaine de câble (48) .
     
    13. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 8, dans lequel la ou les fibres optiques sont en outre ancrées au moyen d'un adhésif.
     
    14. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la ou les structures robustes (52) sont fixées à la gaine de câble (48) et dans lequel la ou les fibres optiques (50) sont ancrées directement à la ou aux structures robustes (52) au niveau de l'emplacement d'ancrage.
     
    15. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la ou les structures robustes (52) sont fixées à la gaine de câble (48) ; et la ou les fibres optiques (50) sont ancrées indirectement à la ou aux structures robustes (52) en ancrant la ou les fibres optiques (50) à la gaine de câble (48) au niveau de l'emplacement d'ancrage.
     
    16. Ensemble connecteur et câble à fibres optiques selon la revendication 1, dans lequel la ou les structures robustes (52) ne sont pas fixées à la gaine de câble (48) ; et dans lequel la ou les fibres optiques (50) sont ancrées directement à la ou aux structures robustes (52) au niveau de l'emplacement d'ancrage.
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description