Polishing jig, ferrule, and optical connector

 

A ferrule includes a ferrule body which can be inserted into a through hole of a holding member of a polishing jig, and a flange which is supported on an upper surface of the holding member when the ferrule body is inserted into the through hole, wherein the flange has cutouts provided in a front surface thereof, which is opposed to the upper surface of the holding member.

 

 

TECHNICAL FIELD
The present invention relates to a ferrule, and an optical connector.
BACKGROUND ART
Conventionally, there has been proposed a polishing device that polishes an end face of a ferrule of an optical connector (see Patent Literature 1 below).
This polishing device comprises a rotating polishing board, polishing paper, a ferrule-fixing section, and a rotating mechanism. The polishing paper is arranged on the rotating polishing board. Abrasive grains are fixed on the polishing paper. The ferrule-fixing section is formed with a through hole through which an optical connector is inserted.
The optical connector includes a ferrule and a rubber boot. The ferrule has a flange. When the ferrule is inserted through the through hole of the ferrule-fixing section, the flange is brought into abutment with a rim of the through hole. In this state, the ferrule is fixed to the ferrule-fixing section. Further, the ferrule has a plurality of optical fiber insertion holes. One end of each optical fiber is inserted through an associated one of the optical fiber insertion holes, and is fixed with glue. The rubber boot is mounted on a side of the optical connector opposite from an end face of the ferrule. The optical fibers are inserted through the rubber boot.
To polish the end face of the ferrule, first, the ferrule is inserted through the through hole of the ferrule-fixing section. When the ferrule is inserted through the through hole of the ferrule-fixing section, the flange of the ferrule is brought into abutment with the ferrule-fixing section.
Next, the ferrule-fixing section is lowered to press the end face of the ferrule against the polishing paper on the rotating polishing board which is being rotated.
As a result, the end face of the ferrule is polished by the polishing paper.
CITATION LIST
Patent Literature
[PTL 1] JP2002-341188 A
SUMMARY OF INVENTION
Technical Problem
Although in the above-described polishing device, the respective end faces of the ferrules of the plurality of optical connectors are sequentially polished, after the polishing of the end face of a ferrule of one optical connector is finished, it is necessary to perform an operation for eliminating dust, such as polishing dust, from the top of the ferrule-fixing section before polishing the end face of a ferrule of another optical connector. If this cleaning operation is not performed, the dust can be caught between the flange of the ferrule and the ferrule-fixing section, whereby the ferrule may be fixed in a state inclined with respect to the ferrule-fixing section, and hence there is a problem that the end face of the ferrule is obliquely polished.
The present invention has been made in view of these circumstances, and an object thereof is to provide a polishing jig, a ferrule, and an optical connector, which makes it possible to perform cleaning of the polishing jig which holds the ferrule of the optical connector, after a polishing operation.
Solution to Problem
To attain the above object, in a first aspect of the present invention, there is provided a ferrule comprising a ferrule body which can be inserted into a through hole of a holding member of a polishing jig, and a flange which is supported on an upper surface of the holding member when the ferrule body is inserted into the through hole, wherein the flange has cutouts provided in a front surface thereof which is opposed to the upper surface of the holding member, and wherein regions of the front surface of the flange in which the cutouts are formed are wider than regions of the front surface of the flange in which no cutouts are formed.
With the arrangement of this invention, the flange has the cutouts provided in the front surface thereof, which is opposed to the upper surface of the polishing jig. Therefore, the cutouts reduce the contact area between the polishing jig and the ferrule, and reduce the area of portions which require cleaning.
Preferably, the cutouts reach a rear surface of the flange.
In a second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a ferrule comprising a ferrule body which can be inserted into a through hole of a holding member of a polishing jig, and a flange which is provided on the ferrule body and is opposed to an upper surface of the holding member when the ferrule body is inserted into the through hole, wherein a front surface of the flange, which is opposed to the upper surface of the holding member, has protrusions provided thereon which are brought into abutment with the upper surface of the holding member when the ferrule is inserted into the through hole, wherein regions of the front surface of the flange on which the protrusions are formed are narrower than regions of the front surface of the flange on which no protrusions are formed.
With the arrangement of this invention, the front surface of the flange, which is opposed to the upper surface of the polishing jig, has the protrusions provided thereon which are brought into abutment with the upper surface of the polishing jig when the ferrule is inserted through the through hole. Therefore, the protrusions reduce the contact area between the polishing jig and the ferrule, and reduce the area of portions which require cleaning.
In a third aspect of the present invention, there is provided an optical connector including any of the ferrules described above.
Advantageous Effects of Invention
According to the present invention, it is possible to easily perform cleaning the polishing jig after the polishing operation, which holds the ferrule of the optical connector.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a polishing jig in a state before mounting an optical connector.
FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the polishing jig shown in FIG. 1 in a state of use.
FIG. 3 is a front view of the polishing jig shown in FIG. 1 in a state of use.
FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a polishing jig in a state before mounting an optical connector.
FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a polishing jig according to a first embodiment of the present invention in a state before mounting an optical connector.
FIG. 6 is a perspective view of an optical connector according to a second embodiment of the present invention.
DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS
Hereafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings.
As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2, a polishing jig 10 includes a holding member 11, and a linking member 18. When polishing a front end face 31a (see FIG. 3) of a ferrule 31 of an optical connector 30, the holding member 11 holds the ferrule 31.
The holding member 11 includes a holding member body 12, and protrusions 16 and 17 provided on an upper surface of the holding member body 12. The holding member body 12 has a through hole 121 having a rectangular shape in plan view through which the ferrule 31 of the optical connector 30 is inserted. The holding member body 12 includes a first plate member 13 and a second plate member 14. The four protrusions 16 and 17 are arranged in four corners of the through hole 121, respectively, in a manner adjacent to each other. The four protrusions 16 and 17 are located on an upper surface of the first plate member 13. The protrusions 16 and 17 support a flange 33 of the ferrule 31 of the optical connector 30 inserted through the through hole 121 (see FIG. 2). The first plate member 13 has two screw holes, not shown, formed in a front 13a thereof, for having two bolts 15 screwed therein. The second plate member 14 has two bolt insertion holes (not shown) formed therein, which are associated with the two screw holes of the first plate member 13, respectively. When the two bolts 15 are inserted through the two bolt insertion holes of the second plate member 14, and then are screwed into the two screw holes of the first plate member 13, a gap between the first plate member 13 and the second plate member 14 is reduced, and hence the ferrule 31 of the optical connector 30 inserted through the through hole 121 is sandwiched by the first plate member 13 and the second plate member 14, and is held by the holding member body 12.
The linking member 18 is plate-shaped, and continues at right angles to one side of the first plate member 13. The linking member 18 is linked to a movable section of a polishing device, not shown. The movable section moves up and down along a direction of a vertical line. A polishing paper 21 is affixed to an upper surface of a rotation board 22 of the polishing device.
The optical connector 30 comprises the ferrule 31, and a boot 34.
The ferrule 31 includes a ferrule body 32 and the flange 33. As a material of the ferrule 31, there may be mentioned e.g. zirconia. The ferrule body 32 is box-shaped, and can be inserted through the through hole 121 of the polishing jig 10. The boot 34 for holding an optical fiber cable 35 is mounted to the ferrule body 32. The boot 34 is formed of a material having flexibility. The ferrule body 32 is provided with a glue injection hole 321 and a wire insertion hole (not shown). The glue injection hole 321 and the wire insertion hole communicate with an inner space within the ferrule body 32.
The flange 33 is provided on an outer peripheral surface of the ferrule body 32.
The optical fiber cable 35 includes a plurality of optical fiber wires 36 and a cover 37 for covering the optical fiber wires 36. The optical fiber wires 36 are each formed by a core, not shown, and a cladding for covering the core. The cover 37 of a front end portion of the optical fiber cable 35 is removed, and the optical fiber wires 36 are inserted through the wire insertion hole of the ferrule 31. A front end face of each optical fiber wire 36 reaches the front end face 31a of the ferrule 31. The plurality of optical fiber wires 36 within the ferrule 31 are fixed with glue injected from the glue injection hole 321.
Next, a description will be given an operation for polishing the front end face 31a of the ferrule 31 of the optical connector 30 using the polishing jig 10.
First, the bolts 15 are loosened to increase the space between the first plate member 13 and the second plate member 14, as shown in FIG. 1.
Next, the ferrule 31 of the optical connector 30 is inserted through the through hole 121 of the polishing jig 10 (see FIG. 2). When the ferrule 31 is inserted through the through hole 121 of the polishing jig 10, the flange 33 of the ferrule 31 is supported by the protrusions 16 and 17 of the polishing jig 10. At this time, the flange 33 of the ferrule 31 is brought into contact only with respective upper surfaces of the protrusions 16 and 17, and hence even when dust such as polishing dust and foreign particles (hereinafter referred to as the dust etc.) exist on an upper surface 12a of the holding member body 12 of the polishing jig 10, the ferrule 31 is never inclined due to the dust etc. caught between the ferrule 31 and the holding member body 12 unless the dust etc. is larger than the height of the protrusions 16 and 17.
After the ferrule 31 has been inserted through the through hole 121, the bolts 15 are fastened. As a result, the ferrule 31 is rigidly sandwiched between the second plate member 14 and the first plate member 13, whereby the optical connector 30 is fixed to the polishing jig 10.
Next, the rotation board 22 of the polishing device is rotated to progressively lower the movable section of the polishing device while supplying polishing solution to the polishing paper 21 on the rotation board 22. As a result, as shown in FIG. 3, the ferrule 31 of the optical connector 30 is pressed against the polishing paper 21, whereby the front end face 31a of the ferrule 31 is polished, and the front end face of each optical fiber wire 36 is also polished.
After the polishing operation has been finished, the bolts 15 are loosened to remove the optical connector 30 from the polishing jig 10.
Finally, the polishing jig 10 is cleaned to eliminate the dust etc. At this time, although it is necessary to carefully clean the upper surfaces of the protrusions 16 and 17, it is not necessary to carefully clean the other parts.
According to the polishing jig 10, it is only necessary to carefully clean the upper surfaces of the protrusions 16 and 17 of the polishing jig 10 after the operation for polishing the ferrule 31 of the optical connector 30, which makes it possible to easily perform an operation for cleaning the polishing jig 10.
Note that as a variation of the polishing jig 10, the through hole 121 of the polishing jig 10 may be formed with cutouts in an inner peripheral surface thereof, which extend from the upper surface 12a of the holding member body 12 to the lower surface of the same (e.g. cutouts 2132 and 2133 of a polishing jig 210, described hereinafter).
Next, a description will be given of the polishing jig 210 with reference to FIG. 4. Component parts identical to those of the polishing jig according to the polishing jig 10 are designated by identical reference numerals, and detailed description thereof is omitted.
In the polishing jig 10, the protrusions 16 and 17 are provided on the upper surface 12a of the holding member body 12 of the polishing jig 10 to support four corners of a front surface 33a of the flange 33 of the optical connector 30. As distinct therefrom, in the polishing jig 210, as shown in FIG. 4, a through hole 2121 of a holding member body 212 of a holding member 211 is formed with the plurality of cutouts 2132 and 2133 in the inner peripheral surface thereof and the four corners of the front surface 33a of the flange 33 are supported by an upper surface 212a of the holding member body 212.
The cutouts 2132 and 2133 are cutouts which extend from the upper surface 212a of the holding member body 212 to a lower surface of the same.
According to the polishing jig 210, it is possible to obtain the same advantageous effect as provided by the polishing jig 10, and since the cutouts 2132 and 2133 are cutouts which extend from the upper surface 212a of the holding member body 212 to the lower surface thereof, if only four portions of the upper surface 212a of the holding member body 212 where the four corners of the front surface 33a of the flange 33 are supported are cleaned, the ferrule 31 of the optical connector 30 is never inclined due to the dust caught between the flange 33 and the holding member body 212.
Note that although in the polishing jig 210, the cutouts 2132 and 2133 extend from the upper surface 212a of the holding member body 212 to the lower surface of the same, as a variation of the polishing jig 210, cutouts (not shown) which extend from the upper surface 212a of the holding member body 212 but do not reach the lower surface thereof may be provided in place of the cutouts 2132 and 2133.
Further, as a variation of the polishing jig 210, the same protrusions (not shown) as those in the polishing jig 10, which support the front surface 33a of the flange 33, may be provided on the upper surface 212a of the holding member body 212.
Next, a description will be given of an optical connector 330 according to a first embodiment of the present invention with reference to FIG. 5. Component parts identical to those of the connector 30 shown in FIG. 1 are designated by identical reference numerals, and detailed description thereof is omitted.
In the optical connector 30 shown in FIG. 1, the protrusions 16 and 17 and the cutouts 2132 and 2133 are provided on and in the holding member bodies 12 and 212 of the polishing jigs 10 and 210, respectively, to reduce the contact area between the flange 33 of the ferrule 31 of the optical connector 30 and each of the holding member bodies 12 and 212. On the other hand, in the first embodiment, as shown in FIG. 5, two cutouts 333b and 333c are formed in a flange 333 of a ferrule 331 of the optical connector 330 to reduce a contact area between the flange 333 and a holding member body 312 of a polishing jig 310.
The cutouts 333b and 333c are cutouts which extend from a front surface 333a of the flange 333 to a rear surface of the same.
Note that the polishing jig 310 has an arrangement formed by eliminating the protrusions 16 and 17 from the holding member body 12 of the polishing jig 10 shown in FIG. 1.
According to the first embodiment, it is possible to obtain the same advantageous effect as provided by the polishing jig 210.
Although in the first embodiment, the cutouts 333b and 333c provided in the flange 333 extend from the front surface 333a of the flange 333 to the rear surface of the same, there may be employed cutouts which extend from the front surface 333a of the flange 333 but do not reach the rear surface thereof, as a variation of the first embodiment.
Further, as a variation of the first embodiment, the front surface 333a of the flange 333 may be provided with protrusions (e.g. protrusions 433b of a flange 433 of an optical connector 430 according to a second embodiment, described hereinafter) which are brought into abutment with an upper surface 312a of the holding member body 312 of the polishing jig 310 when the ferrule 331 is inserted through the through hole 121. Note that in the first embodiment, the two cutouts 333b and 333c are provided in the front surface 333a of the flange 333. The cutouts 333b and 333c are located at the front and rear of the flange 333 (see FIG. 5), respectively, and both of the cutouts 333b and 333c extend from the front surface 333a of the flange 333 to the rear surface of the same (see FIG. 5). As a variation of the first embodiment, the front surface 333a of the flange 333 may be provided with four cutouts (not shown). The four cutouts are located at the front, rear, and opposite sides of the flange 333, respectively, and all of the cutouts each extend from the front surface 333a of the flange 333 to the rear surface of the same.
Next, a description will be given of the optical connector 430 according to the second embodiment of the present invention with reference to FIG. 6. Component parts identical to those of the connector 330 shown in FIG. 5 are designated by identical reference numerals, and detailed description thereof is omitted.
In the optical connector 330 according to the first embodiment, the cutouts 333b and 333c are provided in the flange 333 of the ferrule 331 to reduce the contact area between the flange 333 and the holding member body 312. As distinct therefrom, in the optical connector 430 according to the second embodiment, the four protrusions 433b are provided on four places on a front surface 433a of the flange 433 of a ferrule 431, respectively, to reduce a contact area between the flange 433 and the holding member body 312 (see FIG. 5).
According to the second embodiment, it is possible to obtain the same advantageous effect as provided by the polishing jig 10.
Note that as a variation of the second embodiment, an outer periphery surface of the flange 433 may be provided with cutouts (not shown) similar to those provided in the first embodiment, which extend from the front surface 433a of the flange 433 to a rear surface of the same.
It is further understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing are the preferred embodiments of the present invention, and that various changes and modification may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope thereof.


1. A ferrule comprising:
a ferrule body which is insertable into a through hole of a holding member of a polishing jig; and
a flange which is provided on said ferrule body and which is supported on an upper surface of the holding member when said ferrule body is inserted into the through hole,
wherein said flange has a plurality of cutouts provided in a front surface thereof, the front surface of said flange being opposed to the upper surface of the holding member,
wherein regions of the front surface of said flange in which the plurality of cutouts are formed are wider than regions of the front surface of said flange in which no cutouts are formed,
wherein the plurality of cutouts extend to an outer peripheral surface of the ferrule body in a cross-sectional plane perpendicular to a direction in which the ferrule body is inserted into the through hole, and
wherein the plurality of cutouts extend to a rear surface of said flange.
2. A ferrule comprising:
a box-shaped ferrule body which is insertable into a rectangular through hole of a holding member of a polishing jig; and
a flange which is provided on said ferrule body and which is opposed to an upper surface of the holding member when said ferrule body is inserted into the through hole,
wherein a front surface of said flange, which is opposed to the upper surface of the holding member, has four protrusions provided thereon which are brought into abutment with the upper surface of the holding member when the ferrule is inserted into the through hole,
wherein regions of the front surface of said flange on which the plurality of protrusions are formed are narrower than regions of the front surface of said flange on which no protrusions are formed, and
wherein the four protrusions are located at positions adjacent respectively to four corners of the ferrule body in a cross-sectional plane perpendicular to a direction in which the ferrule body is inserted into the through hole.
3. An optical connector that includes the ferrule as claimed in claim 1.
4. An optical connector that includes the ferrule as claimed in claim 2.

 

 

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