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The advantages of polymer insulators over porcelain insulators

The advantages of polymer insulators over porcelain insulators have many, such as weight, mechanical and electrical performance, technical comparison and other aspect.

General comparison for advantages of polymer insulators over porcelain insulators

Factor Ceramic insulators Polymer insulators
Weight Heavy in weight, approx. of 400kv is about 135kg 90% lighter than porcelain insulators, but offer an equal to better strength, approx. Wt of 400kv is less than 14kg
Frangibility Highly fragile to shock & vibration Not fragile to shock
Packing & transport Risky & expensive Easy & economical
Installation Risky, expensive and more labor required Easy & economical
Handling Difficult Easy
Maintenance cost High Low
Vandalism More susceptible Highly resistant
Breakages & secondary damage Highly fragile- 10 to 15% breakages are reported during transportation, storage and installation Composite insulators are flexible and therefore, highly resistant to breakages.


Technical comparison for advantages of polymer insulators over porcelain insulators
Mechanical failure: Ceramic insulators are reduction in mechanical strength and separation due to pings getting eroded; polymer insulators are single piece hence no such problem.
Resistance to flashover & puncture: ceramic insulators are low, the composite insulators are high
Anti tracking and erosion resistance: porcelain insulator owns very low-poor tracking resistance; polymer insulators are excellent tracking resistance avoids erosion or tracking of the housing material
Dielectric strength: compared to porcelain insulators, polymer insulator has excellent insulation performance.
Contamination & pollution: porcelain- highly affected; polymer- not affected and has longer life
Hydrophobicity: Porcelain insulator - NON HYDROPHOBIC, Porcelain surface forms water film on the surface making easy path leading to More flash overs
Polymeric insulator - The Hydrophobicity properties of Silicon Rubber provides excellent insulating behavior and Resists Wetting by forming. Beads of water without the need of washing or greasing even in humid or polluted climates. Hence low failure rate combined with low overall operating and maintenance costs.
Self cleaning quality: porcelain insulator cannot be used in dirty, sand, sat & snow areas. Composite polymer insulators are used in these conditions according to hydrophobicity recovery characteristics.
Tensile strength: porcelain insulator can provide high mechanical strength. Polymeric insulator strength is excellent due to crimping technology.
Maintenance: porcelain needs maintenance like cleaning, washing and greasing. Polymer non maintenance is required.
Design: porcelain -Design Flexibility is limited. Requires larger and heavier towers for installation and more spaces. Polymer Insulator Design allows for adaption to suit specific needs such as creepage distance. Results in space saving and lower cost
Manufacturing Process: Porcelain insulators require long Manufacturing process leading to Long delivery Time. Manufacturing Process causes pollution & health risk. Polymer - Pollution Free, safe, Short Process time leading to short delivery periods 
Safety: Porcelain insulators are susceptible to explosion & Breakages, due to high fragile properties, stone throwing etc.
Composite Insulators provide very high level of safety, superior flexibility and strength. Not susceptible to explosion. No breakages due to stone Throwing etc.

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