ASTM D1816 - 12

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

    Active Standard ASTM D1816 | Developed by Subcommittee: D27.05

    Book of Standards Volume: 10.03


      Format Pages Price  
    PDF 5 $43.00   ADD TO CART
    Hardcopy (shipping and handling) 5 $43.00   ADD TO CART
    Standard + Redline PDF Bundle 10 $51.60   ADD TO CART


    Significance and Use

    3.1 The dielectric breakdown voltage of an insulating liquid is of importance as a measure of the liquid's ability to withstand electric stress without failure. The dielectric breakdown voltage serves to indicate the presence of contaminating agents such as water, dirt, cellulosic fibers, or conducting particles in the liquid, one or more of which may be present in significant concentrations when low breakdown voltages are obtained. However, a high dielectric breakdown voltage does not necessarily indicate the absence of all contaminants; it may merely indicate that the concentrations of contaminants that are present in the liquid between the electrodes are not large enough to deleteriously affect the average breakdown voltage of the liquid when tested by this test method (see Appendix X1.)

    3.2 This test method is used in laboratory or field tests. For field breakdown results to be comparable to laboratory results, all criteria including room temperature (20 to 30°C) must be met.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method covers the determination of the dielectric breakdown voltage of insulating liquids (oils of petroleum origin, silicone fluids, high fire-point mineral electrical insulating oils, synthetic ester fluids and natural ester fluids). This test method is applicable to insulating liquids commonly used in cables, transformers, oil circuit breakers, and similar apparatus as an insulating and cooling medium. Refer to Terminology D2864 for definitions used in this test method.

    1.2 This test method is sensitive to the deleterious effects of moisture in solution especially when cellulosic fibers are present in the liquid. It has been found to be especially useful in diagnostic and laboratory investigations of the dielectric breakdown strength of insulating liquid in insulating systems.2

    1.3 This test method is used to judge if the VDE electrode breakdown voltage requirements are met for insulating liquids. This test method should be used as recommended by professional organization standards such as IEEE C57.106.

    1.4 This test method may be used to obtain the dielectric breakdown of silicone fluid as specified in Test Method D2225 and Specification D4652, provided that the discharge energy into the sample is less than 20 mJ (milli joule) per breakdown for five consecutive breakdowns.

    1.5 Both the metric and the alternative inch-pound units are 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

    D235 Specification for Mineral Spirits (Petroleum Spirits) (Hydrocarbon Dry Cleaning Solvent)

    D923 Practices for Sampling Electrical Insulating Liquids

    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

    D6871 Specification for Natural (Vegetable Oil) Ester Fluids Used in Electrical Apparatus

    IEEE Standard

    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)


    Referencing This Standard

    DOI: 10.1520/D1816-12

    ASTM International is a member of CrossRef.

    Citation Format

    ASTM D1816-12, Standard Test Method for Dielectric Breakdown Voltage of Insulating Liquids Using VDE Electrodes, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2012, www.astm.org

    Back to Top