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The Material of insulator

 Insulators used for high-voltage power transmission are made from glass, porcelain or composite polymer materials. Porcelain insulators are made from clay, quartz or alumina and feldspar, and are covered with a smooth glaze to shed water. Insulators made from porcelain rich in alumina are used where high mechanical strength is a criterion. Porcelain has a dielectric strength of about 4–10 kV/mm. Glass has a higher dielectric strength, but it attracts condensation and the thick irregular shapes needed for insulators are difficult to cast without internal strains. Some insulator manufacturers stopped making glass insulators in the late 1960s, switching to ceramic materials.

Recently, some electric utilities have begun converting to polymer composite materials for some types of insulators. These are typically composed of a central rod made of fibre reinforced plastic and an outer weather shed made of silicone rubber or ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM). Composite insulators are less costly, lighter in weight, and have excellent hydrophobic capability. This combination makes them ideal for service in polluted areas.

 

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