ASTM D877-87(1995)

    Standard Test Method for Dielectric Breakdown Voltage of Insulating Liquids Using Disk Electrodes

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    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method describes two procedures, A and B, for determining the electrical breakdown voltage of insulating liquid specimens. The breakdown test uses ac voltage in the power-frequency range from 45 to 65 Hz.

    1.2 This test method is used to judge if the disk electrode breakdown voltage requirements are met for insulating liquids, as delivered from the manufacturer, that have never been filtered or dried. See Specification D3487, Specification D4652, and Guide D5222 for the minimum specified electrical breakdown. This test method should be used as recommended by professional organization standards such as IEEE C57.106.

    1.3 Limitations of the Procedures

    1.3.1 The sensitivity of this test method to the general population of contaminants present in a liquid sample decreases as applied test voltages used in this test method become greater than approximately 25 kV rms.

    1.3.2 If the concentration of water in the sample at room temperature is less than 60 % of saturation, the sensitivity of this test method to the presence of water is decreased. For further information refer to RR: 327-1006.

    1.3.3 The suitability for this test method has not been determined for a liquid's viscosity higher than 900 cSt at 40oC.

    1.4 Procedure Applications--Procedure A is used to determine the breakdown voltage of liquids in which any insoluble breakdown products easily settle during the interval between the required repeated breakdown tests. These liquids include petroleum oils, hydrocarbons, and askarels (PCB) used as insulating and cooling liquids in transformers, cables, and similar apparatus.

    1.4.1 Procedure B

    1.4.1.1 This procedure is used to determine the breakdown voltage of liquids in which any insoluble breakdown products do not completely settle from the space between the disks during the 1-min interval required in Procedure A. Procedure B, modified in accordance with Section 17 of Test Methods D2225, is acceptable for testing silicone dielectric liquids.

    1.4.1.2 Procedure B should also be applied for the determination of the breakdown voltage of liquid samples containing insoluble materials that settle from the specimen during testing. These may include samples taken from circuit breakers, load tap changers, and other liquids heavily contaminated with insoluble particulate material. These examples represent samples that may have large differences between replicate tests. The use of Procedure B will result in a more accurate value of breakdown voltage when testing such liquids.

    1.4.1.3 Use Procedure B to establish the breakdown voltage of an insulating liquid where an ASTM specification does not exist or when developing a value for an ASTM guide or standard. Procedure A may be used once the single operator precision of 13.1 has been demonstrated.

    1.5 Both the SI and inch-pound units are equally acceptable.

    1.6 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D923 Practices for Sampling Electrical Insulating Liquids

    D1816 Test Method for Dielectric Breakdown Voltage of Insulating Oils of Petroleum Origin Using VDE Electrodes

    D2225 Test Methods for Silicone Fluids Used for Electrical Insulation

    D2864 Terminology Relating to Electrical Insulating Liquids and Gases

    D3487 Specification for Mineral Insulating Oil Used in Electrical Apparatus

    D4652 Specification for Silicone Fluid Used for Electrical Insulation

    D5222 Specification for High Fire-Point Mineral Electrical Insulating Oils

    IEEE Standards

    C57.106 Guide for Acceptance and Maintenance of Insulating Oil in Equipment


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 29.040.10 (Insulating oils)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 15121505(Transformer oil or insulating oil)


    DOI: 10.1520/D0877-87R95

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