Fiber optic technologies

 Our involvement

 Since its conception, Duracon Inc. has been involved in various aspects of fiber optic technologies.
Be it micro machining of optical fibers, designing specialized or experimental connectors, development
of the equipment for improving a connector's geometry, design and development of tooling used in the
fiber optic industry, design and development of mechanical gages for quality control of various types
of fiber optic connectors, etc.

 In recent years we focused much more on the narrow segment of the fiber optic industry that deals
with connecting or coupling either an optical device or the end of an optical fiber (or wave guide) to the end
of another optical fiber (or wave guide) to assure continuity of the transmission of the optical signal.

 The devices accomplishing this task generally fall into the two groups: splices and connectors.
There is a variety of methods and connectors as well as splices available to the industry. Some of them
never evolved beyond a patent publication or laboratory tests, and some died after a short time of fame.

 Fiber optic connectors as well as mechanical splices may be distinguished as members of two
categories. Those that use some form of adhesive or glue to secure a fiber end to the ferrule,
commonly known as epoxy type (or perhaps more accurately as adhesive type,) and those that utilize
only a friction between the material of the ferrule in contact with the fiber end known as epoxyless,
non-epoxy, non-adhesive or (perhaps more appropriately) adhesiveless type.
In these no glue in any form is utilized.

 There are increasingly more applications where for various reasons use of adhesives is not
recommended or not an option. High working temperature, required ease of installation, or concern
about outgasing of adhesive and eventual contamination of the interior environment of a package
device are but few of the limiting factors.

 We are mainly focusing on a non-epoxy or adhesiveless type connectors and splices.
Our focus has been narrowed down even further, to the portion of the connector responsible for directly
holding an optical wave guide - the ferrule. To be more specific, the part of the ferrule in the near proximity
of (but not exclusively) the terminal edge of the fiber.

 Today probably the only company that presents some level of success in applying purely mechanical
methods to install fiber optic connectors is Valdor Fiber Optics.
 However, despite of their numerous public announcements of the contracts that were just about to
finalize as the announcements were made, we were able to trace Valdor's technology to be adopted in limited
form only by one company. The company is Amphenol LTD using it in their Harsh Environment Impact Splice.
(Link removed from Amphenol's website)

 The other widely advertised projects, such as the second stage of the Sarnoff Corporation project,
or, as announced at the BICSI conference on Jan 01, 2000 by Thomas And Betts as
their Aster® Fiber Impact Termination System, somehow fell into obscurity.

 After in-depth research we concluded that Valdor's Impact Mount™ technology, although in our opinion
very promising despite the assurances of its rosy future by its promoters, never really emerged
out of its infancy and it appears to be slowly "heading south".

 Furthermore, it seems the value of Valdor's patents protecting the core components
of the technology diminishes with time. The original patent (US patent # 5,305,406) protecting
the method and the tooling at the same time as patent # 5,216,735 as it is a product of continuation
in part of the application #429,445. Both patents expired on Jun. 01, 2010.
 To be fair in our view Valdor's Impact Mount™ technology has had and still has a great potential. This can be
confirmed by the fact that numerous companies gave it a try over the 20 years of its existence and some still do.
 Impact Mount™ technology was also given a favorable review in "Fiber-Optic Harness Study" (page 39)
published by Avionic Systems Standardization Committee on November 12, 1998.

 Valdor's Impact Mount™ technology has always been considered by us to be a substantial down payment
towards achieving a robust, reliable and repeatable adhesiveless connectorization.
All it needed was a solid boost in the form of injecting a new set of solutions.

 Weighing the pros against the cons we decided that it is worth a gamble to take a closer look
at the possibility of taking the Impact Mount™ technology out of infancy to the level
of its past promised glory but without its disappointments.

 We realized that during the years of using its technology, Valdor was focusing on minor
improvements to some components of their tooling and to some degree the method,
rather than looking at the entire system that is comprised of:
 the tool and its components,
 the method itself
and what perhaps may be the most important ingredient
 the ferrule
or the component to which the method and the tool is being applied.
 After analyzing the system we learned that the value of the parameters of the tooling
such as punch settings, impact die cone angle, etc., are very important and should not be neglected.
 We also learned that most of the existing shortcomings of the Impact Mount™ technology most likely
can be contributed not to the value of the parameters of the tooling but to the deficiencies at the interface
between the impact die, the ferrule and the fiber.
  As a result we created new designs for the ferrule that is fully compatible with Valdor's existing
Impact Mount ™ technology.
 Recognizing the importance of our discovery and its ramifications, we immediately decided
to protect the intellectual property covering the solutions in the form of utility patents.

 Currently Duracon Inc. is the sole owner of the rights for commercialization of these patents.
They can be viewed in the PDF format by choosing their respective links.

 US pat# US7435012B1
 US pat# US7409135B1

The art presented in these patents is a major milestone in enhancing the principles of operation of Valdor's
Impact Mount™ technology. This may lead to Impact Mount™ technology receiving a new lease for life
extending well beyond Jun. 01, 2010.

It should be emphasized that the final effect of the solutions offered in these patents
is unachievable merely by the principle of operation of Impact Mount™ technology - alone.

We believe Duracon Inc. re-invented what the real adhesiveless technology should be.

 We intend to continue to pave the road for the companies who have vested interest in achieving
a true and lasting success in that field and perhaps would even consider joining us to accelerate reaching
that goal and contribute to further development.

Copyright   ©   2008, Duracon inc.
Impact Mount Technology is a trademark of Valdor Fiber Optics Inc.