ASTM D149 - 09(2013)

    Standard Test Method for Dielectric Breakdown Voltage and Dielectric Strength of Solid Electrical Insulating Materials at Commercial Power Frequencies

    Active Standard ASTM D149 | Developed by Subcommittee: D09.12

    Book of Standards Volume: 10.01


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    Significance and Use

    5.1 The dielectric strength of an electrical insulating material is a property of interest for any application where an electrical field will be present. In many cases the dielectric strength of a material will be the determining factor in the design of the apparatus in which it is to be used.

    5.2 Tests made as specified herein are suitable for use to provide part of the information needed for determining suitability of a material for a given application; and also, for detecting changes or deviations from normal characteristics resulting from processing variables, aging conditions, or other manufacturing or environmental situations. This test method is useful for process control, acceptance or research testing.

    5.3 Results obtained by this test method can seldom be used directly to determine the dielectric behavior of a material in an actual application. In most cases it is necessary that these results be evaluated by comparison with results obtained from other functional tests or from tests on other materials, or both, in order to estimate their significance for a particular material.

    5.4 Three methods for voltage application are specified in Section 12: Method A, Short-Time Test; Method B, Step-by-Step Test; and Method C, Slow Rate-of-Rise Test. Method A is the most commonly-used test for quality-control tests. However, the longer-time tests, Methods B and C, which usually will give lower test results, will potentially give more meaningful results when different materials are being compared with each other. If a test set with motor-driven voltage control is available, the slow rate-of-rise test is simpler and preferable to the step-by-step test. The results obtained from Methods B and C are comparable to each other.

    5.5 Documents specifying the use of this test method shall also specify:

    5.5.1 Method of voltage application,

    5.5.2 Voltage rate-of-rise, if slow rate-of-rise method is specified,

    5.5.3 Specimen selection, preparation, and conditioning,

    5.5.4 Surrounding medium and temperature during test,

    5.5.5 Electrodes,

    5.5.6 Wherever possible, the failure criterion of the current-sensing element, and

    5.5.7 Any desired deviations from the recommended procedures as given.

    5.6 If any of the requirements listed in 5.5 are missing from the specifying document, then the recommendations for the several variables shall be followed.

    5.7 Unless the items listed in 5.5 are specified, tests made with such inadequate reference to this test method are not in conformance with this test method. If the items listed in 5.5 are not closely controlled during the test, it is possible that the precisions stated in 15.2 and 15.3 will not be obtained.

    5.8 Variations in the failure criteria (current setting and response time) of the current sensing element significantly affect the test results.

    5.9 Appendix X1. contains a more complete discussion of the significance of dielectric strength tests.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers procedures for the determination of dielectric strength of solid insulating materials at commercial power frequencies, under specified conditions.2,3

    1.2 Unless otherwise specified, the tests shall be made at 60 Hz. However, this test method is suitable for use at any frequency from 25 to 800 Hz. At frequencies above 800 Hz, dielectric heating is a potential problem.

    1.3 This test method is intended to be used in conjunction with any ASTM standard or other document that refers to this test method. References to this document need to specify the particular options to be used (see 5.5).

    1.4 It is suitable for use at various temperatures, and in any suitable gaseous or liquid surrounding medium.

    1.5 This test method is not intended for measuring the dielectric strength of materials that are fluid under the conditions of test.

    1.6 This test method is not intended for use in determining intrinsic dielectric strength, direct-voltage dielectric strength, or thermal failure under electrical stress (see Test Method D3151).

    1.7 This test method is most commonly used to determine the dielectric breakdown voltage through the thickness of a test specimen (puncture). It is also suitable for use to determine dielectric breakdown voltage along the interface between a solid specimen and a gaseous or liquid surrounding medium (flashover). With the addition of instructions modifying Section 12, this test method is also suitable for use for proof testing.

    1.8 This test method is similar to IEC Publication 243-1. All procedures in this method are included in IEC 243-1. Differences between this method and IEC 243-1 are largely editorial.

    1.9 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. Specific hazard statements are given in Section 7. Also see 6.4.1.


    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

    D374 Test Methods for Thickness of Solid Electrical Insulation

    D618 Practice for Conditioning Plastics for Testing

    D877 Test Method for Dielectric Breakdown Voltage of Insulating Liquids Using Disk Electrodes

    D1711 Terminology Relating to Electrical Insulation

    D2413 Practice for Preparation of Insulating Paper and Board Impregnated with a Liquid Dielectric

    D3151 Test Method for Thermal Failure of Solid Electrical Insulating Materials Under Electric Stress

    D3487 Specification for Mineral Insulating Oil Used in Electrical Apparatus

    D5423 Specification for Forced-Convection Laboratory Ovens for Evaluation of Electrical Insulation

    IEC Standard

    Pub.243-1 Methods of Test for Electrical Strength of Solid Insulating Materials--Part 1: Tests at Power Frequencies Available from International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), 3 rue de Varemb, Case postale 131, CH-1211, Geneva 20, Switzerland, http://www.iec.ch.

    ANSI Standard

    C68.1 Techniques for Dielectric Tests, IEEE Standard No. 4 Available from American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 25 W. 43rd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036, http://www.ansi.org.


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 29.035.01 (Insulating materials in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D0149-09R13

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D149-09(2013), Standard Test Method for Dielectric Breakdown Voltage and Dielectric Strength of Solid Electrical Insulating Materials at Commercial Power Frequencies, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.org

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