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In previous work the diffusion rate of water vapor through the polymer coating on optical fiber was estimated by monitoring the strength as a function of time after suddenly changing the ambient humidity. This technique is used here to measure the diffusion of moisture both into and out of two novel fiber coatings. The first specimen is a dual-coated fiber with silica particles added to its secondary coating. It is shown that the improvement in this fiber's reliability is not due to the silica particles adsorbing/absorbing the moisture. The second fiber, coated with a fluorinated polymer, was designed to have higher fatigue resistance as a result of having a lower permeability to moisture. It is found that even though this fiber had higher than normal resistance to fatigue, the diffusion of moisture through this coating was not substantially different than through typical coatings used on fibers for telecommunications applications.
Date of Publication: Aug. 2003