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Insulator uses

A flexible coating of an insulator is often applied to electric wire and cable, this is called insulated wire. Other insulator uses: transformers and capacitors, liquid insulator oil and so on.

silicone insulator

Insulator uses (1): Since air is an insulator, in principle no other substance is needed to keep power where it should be. High-voltage power lines commonly use just air, since a solid (e.g., plastic) coating is impractical. However, wires that touch each other produce cross connections, short circuits, and fire hazards. In coaxial cable the center conductor must be supported exactly in the middle of the hollow shield in order to prevent EM wave reflections. Finally, wires that expose voltages higher than 60V can cause human shock and electrocution hazards. Insulating coatings help to prevent all of these problems.

Insulator uses (2): Some wires have a mechanical covering with no voltage rating [citation needed]—e.g.: service-drop, welding, doorbell, thermostat wire. An insulated wire or cable has a voltage rating and a maximum conductor temperature rating. It may not have an capacity (current-carrying capacity) rating, since this is dependent upon the surrounding environment (e.g. ambient temperature).

Insulator uses (3): In electronic systems, printed circuit boards are made from epoxy plastic and fibreglass. The nonconductive boards support layers of copper foil conductors. In electronic devices, the tiny and delicate active components are embedded within nonconductive epoxy or phenolic plastics, or within baked glass or ceramic coatings.

Insulator uses (4): In microelectronic components such as transistors and ICs, the silicon material is normally a conductor because of doping, but it can easily be selectively transformed into a good insulators by the application of heat and oxygen. Oxidized silicon is quartz, i.e. silicon dioxide, the primary component of glass.

Insulator uses (5): In high voltage systems containing transformers and capacitors, liquid insulator oil is the typical method used for preventing arcs. The oil replaces air in spaces that must support significant voltage without electrical breakdown. Other high voltage system insulation materials include ceramic or glass wire holders, gas, vacuum, and simply placing wires far enough apart to use air as insulation.


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