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Featured Specialty Optic Fiber Products

Specialty optical fibers are the driving technology for a variety of industries ranging from communications and oil and gas exploration to laser surgery, high power lasers, automotive and aerospace. AFL is the leading supplier of Verrillon optical fibers for harsh environments, specialty applications, polarization-maintaining as well as unique specialty fiber components and assemblies for medical, laser and harsh industrial applications.

Verrillon optical fibers for harsh environment and specialty applications

AFL’s Verrillon fiber is the preferred solution of specialty optical fibers and components to the oil and gas, military, industrial and communications markets. We uniquely design optical fibers and components that are widely deployed in sensing and communications applications.

Our Verrillon product line originated over 15 years ago with the formulation of Verrillon, a company founded by Dr. Abdel Soufiane in 2000. The mission was simple: to bring breakthrough specialty optical fiber solutions to the harsh environment markets through close collaboration with customers and a deep understanding of their applications.

Our suite of specialized fibers and fiber solutions feature technology including:

Superior Fiber Manufacturing Facility

Fiber Draw Capabilities

Unlike most other specialty optical fiber manufacturers, AFL’s Verrillon state-of-the-art, custom-designed fiber facility uses tall draw towers which allow for faster fiber draws and the ability to use a wide variety of different coatings and inline processing stations for new fiber designs. Our draw towers are 20+ meters high which means multiple coating stations can be mounted on the tower simultaneously and swung in and out of the fiber train when required.

Hermetically-Sealed Optical Fibers

AFL’s Verrillon hermetically-sealed optical fibers have been successfully deployed in downhole applications worldwide. The unique composition and method of manufacturing of our carbon coating make it the most reliable barrier against hydrogen for temperatures exceeding 150°C. Our online monitoring system ensures the integrity of the carbon layer throughout the entire length of the fiber. Additionally our state-of-the-art hydrogen testing facility simulates well conditions and provides performance predictions for our customers.

Glass Technology Provides the Ultimate Resistance to Hydrogen Ingression at High Temperatures

As the global demand for oil and gas increases, fiber optic sensing technologies have become crucial for oil recovery and reservoir optimization. This high demand spurred numerous distributed monitoring techniques to measure various well parameters such as temperature, pressure, strain, flow, seismic and acoustic waves. With the development of these emerging monitoring technologies, the need increased dramatically for optical fibers and cables that withstand high temperatures (up to 300°C) and high partial pressures of hydrogen in downhole environments. For example, steam-injected wells using techniques such as SAGD or CSS require robust fiber optic sensing systems that can survive the steam, hydrogen ingression and water permeation.

Although carbon technology is extremely reliable for the mid-temperature range, its effectiveness diminishes for temperatures exceeding 200°C. AFL makes the glass of the optical fiber inherently resistant to hydrogen attack without the need of external protection.

Specialty fiber components and assemblies for medical and harsh industrial applications

Three different technologies of remote visualization solutions from AFL are available for medical and hazardous industrial applications:

  • Fused silica image fibers
  • Plastic image fibers
  • Miniature CMOS assemblies

In some high temperature or radiation environments, our fused silica based fiberscope is the only capable visualization solution available. For medical applications, our flexible, high-resolution image fiber enables the smallest devices to enter small body orifices, thereby enabling newer methods of minimally-invasive surgery. Our plastic image fibers and miniature CMOS modules are key enablers in the pursuit of low cost, disposable scopes.

Spectrometry and other optical sensing techniques benefit from AFL’s wide range of large diameter, solarization resistant and specially coated fibers. AFL has the know-how to bundle fibers and produce fiber assemblies for harsh industrial environments. OEMs struggling to measure light in a high temperature, radiation, UV or vacuum environment can find a solution at AFL that they are unable to find elsewhere.

Medical laser applications continue to grow as the ability to reliably and safely deliver high power over larger-diameter fibers and fibers bent to tighter radii continues to increase. AFL’s 2 mm polymer clad fibers and up to 3 mm silica clad fibers lead the industry in diameter capabilities. AFL’s expertise in termination, splicing and shaping of fiber ends provides medical device OEMs with a quality-oriented fiber supplier that can help them develop solutions in the R&D phase and then partner with the device manufacturer to provide low cost, high-quality assemblies or contract manufacturing services at later stages.