Mechanism of brittle fracture in nonceramic insulators

J. Montesinos, R. S. Gorur, Barzin Mobasher, D. Kingsbury

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The results of an investigation concerning a mechanism of brittle fracture in glass reinforced plastic (GRP) rods used in non-ceramic insulators (NCI) are presented. Commercial grade GRP rods and GRP rods from actual insulators were exposed to ultra-pure water (UPW) and acids while being subjected to mechanical stresses. The experimental results revealed that water has the potential of inducing stress corrosion cracking on the fibers and hence brittle fracture in the rods. It is observed that the fracture proceeded faster when the rods were exposed to UPW than when exposed to acids. Furthermore, a brittle fracture in an epoxy cross-arm, which was installed in a region where the formation of acids in the atmosphere can be neglected, is analyzed. Based on these evidences, it is postulated that the failure of in-service NCI in the brittle mode can occur under the influence of water and mechanical stresses, and that the failure is more likely to happen with water than with acids.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)236-243
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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