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Fiber optics are used to transmit light energy over long distances. Optical fibers are thin, transparent strands of optical quality glass or plastic that can be as thin as a strand of hair.  This article explains the differences between glass and plastic fiber optics and how to choose the right fiber optic technology for your application.

Plastic fiber optics usually have a large, monofilament core. Advances in LED technology have improved the performance and range of plastic fiber optic sensing systems to the point that they are nearly equivalent to glass fibers. Plastic fibers are a versatile, cost-effective choice for many fiber optic sensing applications.

Glass fiber optic assemblies are mostly very rugged and perform reliably in extreme temperatures, corrosive or vacuum chamber environments. Glass fiber optic assemblies can transmit both visible and infrared light, where plastic fiber optics can only transmit visible light. Glass fibers that are specially terminated may be used in plastic fiber amplifiers.

  • Fiber amplifier with IO-Link capability for detection up to 6 m, precise positioning, and water detection. Output: analog, discrete, dual discrete.
  • Developed to provide world-class long-range detection, DF-G3 fiber amplifiers are advanced sensors featuring dual digital displays for use with plastic and glass fiber optic assemblies.
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  • Fiber amplifier with IO-Link capability ideal for general purpose and error proofing. Has simple set-up and configuration. Output: NPN or PNP.
  • Models with IO-Link enable a point-to-point communication link between a master device and a sensor, facilitating remote monitoring, teaching, and configuration.
  • Easy to read dual digital displays simultaneously show signal level and threshold.
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DF-G2 Series High Speed Fiber Optic Amplifier

  • Fiber amplifier with IO-Link capability for high speed (10 μs) for applications like part counting or registration mark detection. Output: NPN or PNP.
  • Designed to achieve the worlds fastest response rate.
  • Can achieve 10 microsecond response time with 5 microsecond repeatability.
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D10 Series High Performance Fiber Optic Sensing

  • Available with bussable power for decreased wiring in temperature sensitive environments. High-performance, low-contrast plastic fiber optic sensor.
  • Features advanced fiber optic amplifier for use with plastic fibers.
  • Available in bipolar discrete, dual-discrete and analog/discrete models.
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  • Color contrast fiber optic sensor detects 16 levels of grayscale for registration mark detection. Choose infrared or 1 of 4 visible beam colors.
  • Delivers outstanding color contrast sensitivity.
  • Reliably detects 16 levels of grayscale at up to 10,000 actuations per second.
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QS18 Series All Purpose Fiber Optic Amplifier

  • All purpose IP67 amplifier paired with fiber optics to measure in extremely hot, wet, or corrosive environments. DC, AC, Universal voltage models.
  • Plastic or glass fiber optic sensing in the popular World-Beam QS18 sensor housing.
  • Self contained, easily mounted, IP67 water resistance, available with IO-Link communication
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MINI-BEAM Fiber Optic Amplifier

  • IP67 Mini-Beam amplifier with compact housing & fast response time (0.15 ms).
  • Paired with glass or plastic fibers to measure in harsh environments.
  • Plastic or glass fiber optic sensing in the popular MINI-BEAM sensor housing.
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Q45 Series Rugged Fiber Optic Amplifier

  • Rugged IP67 amplifier with output timing logic.
  • Can be paired with glass or plastic fiber optics. DC, AC, Universal voltage models.
  • Plastic or glass fiber optic sensing in the popular Q45 sensor housing.
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QM42 Series IP67 Rated Fiber Optic Amplifier

  • IP67 rated, compact, rectangular amplifier has available 6 m diffuse mode sensing.
  • Can be paired with fiber optics to measure in harsh environments.
  • Plastic fiber optic sensing in the rugged die-cast QM42 sensor housing.
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