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Mitigating Risk with Insulation Systems

  • September 2021
  • Number of views: 610
  • Article rating: No rating

Mike Howell
EASA Technical Support Specialist

Relevant standards including IEC 60085 and IEEE 1 have similar definitions for electrical insulating materials (EIM) and electrical insulation systems (EIS). To summarize, EIM are materials suitable for separating conducting parts at different voltages, and EIS are insulating structures containing one or more of these materials.

As with any system, there is an interaction between the materials used, and the insulation system developers take great care to ensure that this interaction does not lead to undesirable outcomes. For example, it is possible for two materials (EIM) classified individually at thermal class H (180°C) to have thermal endurance in a system (EIS) limited to thermal class F (155°C). Far worse outcomes could exist if material compatibility is an issue. At the service center level, our resources are generally insufficient for these types of insulation system development activities. For this reason, two approaches often seen are (1) relying on a third party (e.g., resin manufacturer) to provide a qualified insulation system bill of materials, or (2) applying commonly used materials based on their individual ratings. The first approach is strongly recommended, and the second approach can lead to disaster.

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