Flashover of contaminated nonceramic outdoor insulators in a wet atmosphere

A. De La O, R. S. Gorur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


This paper deals with the flashover mechanism and performance of contaminated nonceramic (also known as composite and polymeric) outdoor insulators under wet conditions. Two types of wetting that occur in service, namely fog and rain, were considered. Different profiles of line insulators having weathersheds made from material families such as, high temperature vulcanizing (HTV) silicone rubber (SR) and ethylene propylene (EP) diene monomer rubber, were evaluated. The results demonstrate that the performance, and hence the relative ranking of nonceramic line insulators is influenced by the wetting mode and insulator geometry; that flashover of contaminated insulators can occur with rain at a much lower contamination severity than with fog; and that the mechanism of contamination flashover under rain is significantly different from that under fog condensation. New insulator profiles have been identified and tested to show that they can provide improved flashover performance, when compared to existing designs. This work proves that a comprehensive evaluation of outdoor insulator performance can be obtained by performing flashover tests that include more than one form of wetting, and hence illustrates the limitations of current standard contamination tests that employ only one form of insulator wetting.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)814-823
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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