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1. (WO2019060964) THERMALLY ACTUATED FIBRE OPTIC CUTTING DEVICE
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The claims defining the invention are as follows:

1. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device including:

a housing configured to receive an optical fibre element which passes through the housing from one side of the housing to another side of the housing in one continuous portion, wherein the optical fibre element is capable of transmitting a source of light along its length;

one or more retaining portions for retaining the optical fibre element; and,

a cutting element disposed within the housing for cutting the continuous portion of the optical fibre element in response to a change in temperature, the cutting element being moveable in a direction towards the continuous portion of the optical fibre element.

2. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 1 wherein the continuous portion of the optical fibre element is cut by the cutting element at a location adjacent the retaining portion when the cutting element is moved towards the optical fibre element.

3. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 1 or claim 2 wherein the cutting element cuts the continuous portion of the optical fibre element by shearing through the optical fibre.

4. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the optical fibre element is in the form of one continuous length which begins at one end outside of the housing and ends at another end outside of the housing.

5. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the cutting element is moved towards the continuous portion of the optical fibre element by a material that physically transforms due to the change in temperature wherein the material that physically transforms is contained within the housing.

6. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 5 wherein the material that physically transforms is selected from a material that transforms from a solid to a liquid due to the change in temperature.

7. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 6 wherein the material that physically transforms is selected from a wax composition.

8. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to any one of claims 5 to 7 wherein the material that physically transforms is located towards and contained within one end of the housing, the cutting element is positioned adjacent the material that physically transforms, and the continuous portion of the optical fibre element is located on the other side of the cutting element from the material that physically transforms.

9. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 8 wherein the cutting element includes a cutting surface located on the other side of the cutting element from the material that physically transforms and facing the continuous portion of the optical fibre element wherein the cutting surface is capable of severing the continuous portion of the fibre optic element adjacent the retaining portion when moved towards the continuous portion of the optical fibre element.

10. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 8 or claim 9 further including a seal member located between the material that physically transforms and the cutting element.

11. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 10 wherein the seal member is in the form of a hydraulic seal.

12. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 10 or claim 11 wherein upon the change in temperature, the material that physically transforms urges the seal member and the cutting element together towards the continuous portion of the optical fibre element.

13. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to any one of the preceding claims wherein the optical fibre element passes through the housing from one side of the housing to another side of the housing in one continuous portion via two openings located in the housing, wherein the one or more retaining portions is provided by at least one or both of the perimeter surfaces of the two openings whereby the continuous portion of the fibre optic element is retained by the perimeter surface of the or both openings from moving in a direction away from the cutting element.

14. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 13 wherein the perimeter surfaces of the two openings are circular in form and provide a clearance fit around the optical fibre element.

15. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to any one of claims 9 to 14 wherein the cutting surface of the cutting element moves along an inside surface of the housing when moved towards the continuous portion of the optical fibre element.

16. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 15 wherein the housing includes a cylindrical form at the location of the one or more retaining portions and the cutting surface includes a complementary shape which moves along an inside surface of the housing.

17. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device according to claim 16 wherein the cutting element includes a cylindrical portion including a cutting surface provided by a perimeter region located on the cylindrical portion, the cutting surface surrounding a concave central region, wherein the perimeter region of the cutting element provides a complementary shape to the inside surface of the housing.

18. A thermally actuated fibre optic cutting device including:

a housing configured to receive an optical fibre element which passes through the housing from one side of the housing to another side of the housing in one continuous portion, wherein the optical fibre element is capable of transmitting a source of light along its length;

and, a cutting element disposed within the housing for cutting the continuous portion of the optical fibre element in response to a change in temperature, the cutting element being moveable in a direction towards the continuous portion of the optical fibre element and wherein the cutting element is moved towards the continuous portion of the optical fibre element by a material.