Skip to Main Content
The standard methods available to test tracking and erosion resistance of filled silicone rubber do not allow to delineate the fundamentals of the thermal degradation, although the heat from the dry band arcing is the main degradation factor. In this work a thermal imaging camera is used to investigate the performance of filled silicone rubber in an inclined plane test, and a scheme is established to relate the temperature and the electrical discharge energy. Further, an infrared laser technique, based on constant energy approach, is developed to study the material performance under laser heating. The technique consists of applying a certain amount of infrared laser energy during a set time period, in order to produce erosion in the silicone rubber samples. Through correlation studies the applicability of the proposed laser technique to rank silicone rubber samples with various fillers has been validated. The laser tests show identical ranking of samples when compared to samples ranked using inclined plane tests, yet offering significant advantages of being faster, simpler, and reproducible.