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The chemical environment responsible for the brittle fracture failure of composite (non-ceramic) insulators is determined. Also previously reported observations by the authors are verified. Five non-ceramic composite suspension insulators and one composite guide were subjected to FTIR analysis. Out of the six field failed units, five insulators showed significant levels of nitrate on their brittle fracture surfaces with small traces of nitrate also found on the fracture surfaces of the composite guide. The results strongly indicate that the most probable cause of brittle fracture failure of composite RV insulators in-service is the formation of nitrate and thus nitric acid. This is consistent with the observations and conclusions previously reported by the authors.
Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:11 , Issue: 4 )
Date of Publication: Aug. 2004