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Where does dust based end face contamination come from?



There are two basic sources of dust based contamination.

  1. Wear Debris

The most common source is wear debris caused by the contact friction of inserting a connector into the adapter.  Connectors like the SC and MPO have sliding housing that are held in place by latches in the adapter.  Other connector systems like the ST, FC, and many of the hardened connector systems have metal housings that are threaded and use orientation keys that generate wear debris. Other sources of wear debris are the protective end caps. Removing the end caps from a connector that was perfectly clean during the last inspection at factory will cause the end face to become contaminated when the end cap is removed by the installer.

2. Environmental Dust

The other common contributors for dust based contamination is our environment.  The common sources of dust in the air that contribute to dust based contamination include:

  • Dead skin, hair, and clothing lint
  • Foam based swabs and paper based wipes
  • Zinc whiskers from electroplated surfaces
  • Cardboard packaging
  • Plant pollen and molds
  • Aerial blown dirt and sands
  • Concrete and carpet dust
  • Electricity generation & vehicle emissions


  Answered by AskFOC Technical Team WITH the Sticklers MicroCare Corporation Team August 16, 2017


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Kathleen Skelton

About Kathleen Skelton

Kathleen Skelton, as FOC's Director of Strategic Marketing, utilizes her expertise in business development, online strategy, market planning, digital best practices, standard operating procedure development, and content management. A graduate of Curry College, she holds degrees in Communications and Education, English and Psychology. Kathleen resides outside of Boston, MA with her husband and four children. Follow @KATHLEENSKELTON