Projections show that the global electric insulator market will reach a value of $15.309 billion by 2028.
There are many options when it comes to electrical insulation, and finding the best insulator can be difficult. You should understand the different options available and what their properties are to find the most suitable substances.
For a rundown on different electrical insulators and what a high voltage insulator is, keep reading.
What Is an Insulator?
Insulators are substances that block or impede a thermal or electrical current. When looking at different insulation options the type you should use depends on the nature of the application.
The best insulators completely block any flow, but some will just reduce it. Sometimes there are other characteristics to these materials that affect their suitability for certain applications.
Types of Electrical Insulator
There are various voltage insulators available. Any material that is a poor conductor of electricity may work, but the nature of certain materials makes them more appropriate.
Many electrical circuits simply separate components as the air between acts as an insulator. A high enough voltage will break down this insulation, which is why lightning can travel through miles of air to the ground.
Dry cotton is an excellent insulator and is often used in cloth tape to insulate wires. If it gets wet this changes, and cotton can go from being an insulator to a conductor.
Most diamonds work well as insulators, except for blue diamonds, which have a high enough boron content to make them semi-conductors. Diamond insulation is most common in machines like electromotors and generators.
Glass used to be a very common insulator, but fiberglass and ceramic are more common now instead. The most common uses were telephone and power lines.
Woven sheets made up of glass fibers and plastic can be tightly wound around wires and cables. As a good thermal insulator, this is often used for high-temperature systems such as ovens and furnaces.
Plastic is one of the most common insulators, often used for wires in various electrical applications. It’s inexpensive and very effective. This is widely used to replace old rubber insulation.
High Voltage Insulators
High voltage insulators (HVIs) are most commonly used in transmission lines and substations. They are usually made out of either polymer or ceramic.
An HVI consists of a fiber rod that is surrounded by the insulator. Polymer is lighter than ceramic but also tends to degrade faster.
When looking at forces, the polymer can withstand more tensional force but less compressive force than ceramic. The polymer also ages faster than ceramic, so will often require more maintenance.
The Importance of Using the Best Insulator
For many applications finding the best insulator will help improve the overall performance of the system. Think about the voltage that must be insulated, along with any other conditions such as heat or exposure.
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