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 and communications fibers as well as Fujikura's unique specialty fiber components and assemblies for medical, laser and harsh industrial applications.
AFL’s Verrillon fiber is the preferred solution of specialty optical fibers 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 technologies including:
Unlike most other specialty optical fiber manufacturers, AFL’s state-of-the-art, custom-designed Verrillon 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.
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.
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 heat, 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.
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