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Normally, multifiber splices are only installed on ribbon type fiber optic cables. Multifiber splicing techniques can use arc fusion to restore connection, but most splicing techniques use mechanical splicing methods. The most common mechanical splice is the ribbon splice.

A ribbon splice uses an etched silicon chip, or grooved substrate, to splice the multiple fibers within a flat ribbon. The spacing between the etched grooves of the silicon chip is equal to the spacing between the fibers in the flat ribbon. Before placing each ribbon on the etched silicon chip, each fiber within the ribbon cable is cleaved. All of the fibers are placed into the grooves and held in place with a flat cover. Typically, an index matching gel is used to reduce the splice loss. Figure 4-14 shows the placement of the fiber ribbon on the etched silicon chip.

Figure 4-14. - Ribbon splice on etched silicon chip. 

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