Electrical Insulator

An electrical insulator is a material whose internal electric charges do not flow freely, and therefore make it very hard to conduct an electric current under the influence of an electric field.

Electrical Insulator

A perfect electrical insulator does not exist, because a portion of the insulator could become electrically conductive if the voltage applied across it exceeds the breakdown voltage. This is known as breakdown voltage of an electrical insulator. Some materials such as glass, paper and Teflon, which have high resistivity, are very good electrical insulators.

A much larger class of materials, even though they may have lower bulk resistivity, are still good enough to insulate electrical wiring and cables. Examples include rubber-like polymers and most plastics. Such materials can serve as practical and safe insulators for low to moderate voltages (hundreds, or even thousands, of volts).

Insulators are used in electrical equipment to support and separate electrical conductors without allowing current through themselves. An insulating material used in bulk to wrap electrical cables or other equipment is called insulation. The term insulator is also used more specifically to refer to insulating supports used to attach electric power distribution or transmission lines to utility poles and transmission towers. Electrical insulator supports the weight of the suspended wires without allowing the current to flow through the tower to ground.

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