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What is Fiber Optic Adapter and How to Clean it?

(Last Updated On: April 24, 2023)

As we all know, the key to fiber optic connection is the precise alignment of fiber cores. Still, the traditional connection methods have certain defects, such as welding prone to cracking, porosity, slagging, unfused or not welded through, etc.

The fiber optic adapter is different because it comes with its internal alignment sleeve, which can precisely position the fiber optic connector to ensure the accuracy of the connection for a high-performance connection between fiber optic patch cords.

LC DX Adapter

What is the Fiber Optic Adapter?

The Fiber optic adapter is one of the most widely used basic components in fiber optic communication, also known as a fiber optic coupler or fiber optic flange, usually used in fiber optic link connection in a telecommunication network, cable TV network, and regional network.

The role of fiber optic adapters is mainly to enable the docking of identical or different fiber optic movable connectors with less loss (i.e., minimal impact on the system).

Fiber Optic Patch cord with fiber optic adapter 02

Main Features of the Fiber Optic Adapter

Adapters connect the fibers through their internal open sleeves to ensure the highest connection performance between fiber optic connectors. A variety of fine-fixing flanges have been designed for fixing various panels.

Hybrid Adapter ends can be connected to fiber optic connectors of different interface types and provide connections between APC end faces. It allows for increased mounting density and space savings.

Fiber Optic Adapter Classification

Fib optic adapters can provide adapter parts for the corresponding fiber optic connectors depending on the fiber optic connectors.

Commonly used fiber optic connector models are FC, SC, ST, LC, E2000, MPO, Bare Adapter, etc. We also can offer the shutter adapter, hybrid adapter, and waterproof adapter.

Fiber Optic Adapter Types

FC Adapter

“FC” is a metal connector, generally used on the ODF side; metal connectors can be plugged and unplugged more times than plastic.

FC, the abbreviation of FERRULE CONNECTOR, was first developed by NTT in Japan, which indicates that its external reinforcement method uses the metal sleeve, and its fastening method is screw fastening.

FC Fiber Optic Adapter Datasheet
Fiber Optic FC Adapter

SC Adapter

The “SC” connector is a standard square connector made of engineering plastic, which has the advantages of high-temperature resistance and no easy oxidation. SC connectors are generally used for optical interfaces on the transmission equipment side.

The fastening method uses the plug and pin latch type without rotation. Such connectors are inexpensive, easy to plug and unplug operation, have minor fluctuations in intervention loss, high compressive strength, and high installation density.

SC Fiber Optic adapter Datasheet
Fiber Optic SC Adapter Simplex Duplex

ST Adapter

The ST fiber optic adapter, developed by Bell Labs, consists of two precision-molded cylindrical plugs with truncated conical ends and a coupling assembly with a double conical plastic sleeve inside.

ST Fiber Optic Adapter Datasheet
Fiber Optic ST Adapter

LC Adapter

The LC Fiber Optic adapter uses pins and sleeves half the size of those used in common SC and FC, at 1.25 MM, increasing the density of fiber optic connectors in fiber optic patch panels. Currently, in single-mode SFF, LC-type adapters have dominated, and multimode applications are also growing rapidly.

LC Fiber Optic Datasheet
Fiber Optic LC Adapter Simplex Duplex

MPO Adapter

The grey-colored MTP/MPO adapter has two types key-up to key-down and key-up to key-up. It provides the connection between cable to cable or cable to equipment in the MTP/MPO style.

It works for any MTP Connector from 4 to 72 fiber, widely used in trunk cabling and cassettes. This adapter meets appropriate standards and is perfect for your parallel optics and MTP adapter needs.

Fiber Optic MPO Adapter Datasheet
Fiber Optic MPO Adapter

Fiber Optic Shutter Adapter

The external shutters include built-in and snap-on designs to guard against dust and prevent accidental exposure to laser optical power. The internal shutters are fully automatic, will not damage the ferrule tip, and provide necessary eye safety from potentially harmful light without any manual intervention.

The fiber-optic adapters are available in LC duplex/quad and SC simplex/duplex options.

Shutter Fiber optic Adapter SC Duplex LC 4Cores
Fiber Optic Shutter Adapter SC APC Datasheet
Shutter Fiber Adapter LC Duplex SC Simplexx
Fiber Optic Shutter Adapter LC Duplex Datasheet

Fiber Optic Hybrid Adapter

The hybrid adapters comply with international standards and are subject to the strictest quality control throughout the manufacturing process. Hybrid adapters are used to link connectors of two different standards.

Hybrid adapters offer an advantageous variant for hybrid patch cords and are helpful for measurement technicians in situations where the suitable measurement cable with the correct combination of connectors is never available. It includes two types: Male to Female hybrid adapter and Female to Female Hybrid Adapter.

The Male-Female hybrid fiber adapter (Build-out Type hybrid fiber adapter) is a fiber adapter with a connector plug (male) end and an adapter socket (female) end. We call it the Male-Female Hybrid fiber adapter. Such as ST male on one side and FC female on the other.

Hybrid Fiber Adapter Female to Male

The Female-Female hybrid fiber adapter (Bulk Type hybrid fiber adapter) is a fiber adapter with two different ends. We call it the Female-Female Hybrid fiber adapter, such as ST female on one side and FC female on the other.

The SC(Female) to FC(Female) hybrid Fiber adapter provides SC Fiber Patch cord to FC Fiber patch cord connecting. SC to FC hybrid fiber adapters combine SC metal fiber adapter with FC metal fiber adapter, Allow Mating of two same diameter ferrule Fiber Patch cord connecting.

Fiber Optic Hybrid Adapter Female to Female

Fiber Optic Waterproof Adapter

Waterproof Adapter Meeting the IP 67 environmental sealing rating, it is ideal for a low-cost and easy-to-use solution for fiber to the antenna (FTTA) or any other harsh environmental application. The dust cover is the ideal way to protect the rugged patch cord from contacting components or in case of accidental damage.

Waterproof Adapter
Fiber Optic ODVA Adapter Datasheet

How to Cleaning Fiber Optic Adapter?

Although the fiber optic adapter is relatively small and is a minor component of fiber optic cabling, this does not detract from its importance in fiber optic cabling systems. It requires regular cleaning, just like any other fiber optic device.

Fiber Optic Cleaning Sticker

There are two main cleaning methods, namely contact and non-contact cleaning.

Contact cleaning method

  • Dust-free wiping paper or dust-free cleaning cloth; use dust-free paper or dust-free cloth with sewage alcohol to wipe the end face of the optical fiber connector.
Fiber Optic Wiping Paper
  • Fiber Optic Cleaner Box; a wiping tape with a special function is installed in the rollable sleeve. The principle is to use the strong adhesive on the wiping tape to stick the dirt to the end face of the optical fiber connector.
Fiber Optic Cleaner Box with patch cord
  • Fiber Optic Cleaner Pen; the fiber optic cleaning pen is specially used to clean the inside of the fiber optic adapter or the end face of the ferrule. Its method is very simple. Insert one end of the refill into the adapter’s ceramic sleeve and clean the end with a gentle push.
Fiber Optic Cleaner Pen

Non-contact cleaning method

  • Ultrasonic cleaning method All ultrasonic cleaning instruments on the market now use this cleaning method, which turns the cleaning liquid into an ultrasonic “liquid column” and sends it to the end face of the optical fiber connector.
  • High-pressure blowing method: display the cleaning liquid on the end face of the optical fiber connector, and then use high-pressure gas to align the end face to clean the end face.


For fiber optic adapters, fiber alignment is very important. If the fiber is not aligned correctly, there will be large losses at the connection, and if the losses are too large, the network will not work.

In a fiber optic communication system, no matter how simple or small the component is, it will also have a critical role in the overall system.

HOLIGHT offers a diverse range of high-quality Fiber Optic Adapters, which have high-precision alignment sleeves for high reliability & better repeatability.

For more product details, you can glance at our website or email us at sales@holightoptic.com.

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