An important concern in achieving long service lifetime of optical fibers, particularly in adverse environments, is their susceptibility to mechanical failure by static fatigue. This phenomenon of delayed fracture is believed to be caused by the growth over time of microscopic surface flaws into larger critical flaws. The median time to failure of an optical fiber is a strong function of the applied stress, temperature, and chemical environment, specifically the presence of water.1

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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