Overmolding in Fiber Optics

Overmolding in Fiber Optics

05/23/2022

If you’ve never heard of overmolding before, you might be surprised to learn that you’re probably more familiar with it than you think. This process has become commonly used for a variety of products and you likely use items every day that are overmolded. For example, if you have ever held a plastic toothbrush, a disposable razor, or a phone-charging cord, you have held a product that has been overmolded.

The process of overmolding involves two steps. The first step consists of creating one mold and filling it with the desired medium. After this step, a second mold shaped around the first is filled with a second medium and the two finished pieces are fitted together to create one cohesive unit.

While overmolding is a common practice for many household products and then some, it also plays a large role in the world of fiber optics. This process is a reliable solution used to separate multi-fiber cables into individual breakout cable setups. These breakouts maintain optical integrity and do not degrade the optical performance of the assembly. When cables are overmolded, their design not only remains flexible and reliable, but they become ruggedized. This helps to reduce strain on the assembly and makes the cables more impact-resistant. Once the assembly has been completed, they are easy to install inside a variety of equipment types and systems. 

Timbercon’s Overmolding Approach

Timbercon’s overmolding process stands apart in that our overmolding options for cables come in a variety of sizes for input and output jackets, as well as low-profile transitions that create an ultra-clean look. We offer two different types of polyimide: a hard-ridged version and a soft, flexible version. Our overmolding products are also highly customizable; you can define almost any spec of the cable from the length, connectors, and breakout configuration, as well as choose from a variety of colors and hardness levels of polyimide and copolyester. If you are unsure about the details for what you’d like, our team can assist you in achieving the desired design. We add that special touch with our ability to customize the finished exterior jacket with any logo or company name.

Our most commonly requested transition is the ribbon to 900µm, which is designed for in-the-box fiber optic solutions and applications where the fiber will be protected or enclosed. The transition takes a bare ribbon fiber, usually 12 fiber, and transitions it to a breakout of individual 900µm furcations.

Fiber optic cable breakout assembly with overmolding
Timbercon’s ribbon to 900µm transition

Timbercon’s design expertise in overmolds puts emphasis on maintaining high pull strength in the breakout of the assembly, and we stand alone in our ability to offer low-stress breakout cables with a design that can be almost entirely customized to the desired specs.

If you have any questions about our overmolding solutions and how they can work for your company, we’d love to help. Contact us today to speak with someone from our team.

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