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Facing Wildfire? Choose Toughened Glass Insulators

Insulators under fire, what are we talking about?

  • A line directly in the fire is considered as lost
  • A line near the heat of a fire can be saved
  • What is the condition of insulators on a line nearby a fire?

Reliability of insulators during or after a fire is a key consideration for T&D line design or refurbishment.

One must evaluate the risk of a line drop in the proximity of a fire as well as the possibility for a catastrophic failure afterwards resulting from a degraded insulator.

Our study on a comparison of insulators electromechanical strength after heat exposures shows

Based on “INSULATORS UNDER FIRE” – GEORGE JM / PRAT S – EDM 2019, International conference on overhead lines, Design, Construction, Inspection & Maintenance, Mar. 25-28 2019, Fort Collins, Colorado, USA / Reliability Behaviour.

For porcelain and composite insulators

During an extreme heat exposure, there will be no mechanical separation below rating for porcelain insulators but punctures induced by crack developing internally. The weakening resulting from heat exposure can become a threat for the future of the line.

For polymer insulators, during an extreme heat exposure, there will be:

  • Decrease of polymer insulators’ mechanical strength without any recovery after the cooling
  • Moreover, the decrease of strength occurs quickly after the beginning of heat exposure

Even if the line does not drop immediately, the mechanical strength reduction of polymer insulators has compromised the integrity of the line with a potential hazard for the future.

Toughened glass insulators do not lose their performance after a fire

  • Toughening glass -> no crack propagation or puncture even during or after heat exposure
  • Easy visual inspection after the fire
  • Mechanically safe at high temperatures and even with a damaged shell

In comparison

As a result, with toughened glass insulators

  • No risk of line drop under extreme heat
  • No risk of line drop after fire is over
  • No risk of accelerated ageing as a result of heat stress

Need more info? Don’t hesitate to contact us for a specific webinar presentation.

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