ASTM D2132 - 12

    Standard Test Method for Dust-and-Fog Tracking and Erosion Resistance of Electrical Insulating Materials

    Active Standard ASTM D2132 | Developed by Subcommittee: D09.18

    Book of Standards Volume: 10.01


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    Significance and Use

    MethodIt is possible that electrical insulation in service will fail as a result of tracking, erosion, or a combination of both, if exposed to high relative humidity and contamination environments. This is particularly true of organic insulations in outdoor applications where the surface of the insulation becomes contaminated by deposits of moisture and dirt, for example, coal dust or salt spray. This test method is an accelerated test that simulates extremely severe outdoor contamination. It is believed that the most severe conditions likely to be encountered in outdoor service in the United States will be relatively mild compared to the conditions specified in this test method.

    Test ResultsMaterials can be classified by this test method as tracking-resistant, tracking-affected, or tracking-susceptible. The exact test values for these categories as they apply to specific uses will be specified in the appropriate material specifications, but guideline figures are suggested in Note 4. Tracking-resistant materials, unless erosion failure occurs first, have the potential to last many hundreds of hours (Note 5). Erosion, though it is possible that it will progress laterally, generally results in a failure perpendicular to the specimen surface. Therefore, compare only specimens of the same nominal thickness for resistance to tracking-induced erosion. Estimate the extent of erosion from measurements of the depth of penetration of the erosion. Place materials that are not tracking-susceptible in three broad categorieserosion-resistant, erosion-affected, and erosion-susceptible. When the standard thickness specimen is tested, the following times to failure typify the categories (Note 6):

    Erosion-susceptible5 to 50 h
    Erosion-affected50 to 200 h
    Erosion-resistantover 200 h

    Note 4—Tracking-susceptible materials usually fail within 5 h. Tracking-affected materials usually fail before about 100 h.

    Note 5—This information is derived from the individual experiences of eight laboratories using this test method since its publication as a suggested test method in June 1957, and from the results of an organized test program among these laboratories.

    Note 6—In a normal distribution approximately 68 % of all test values are included within ±1 standard deviation of the mean.

    Interpretation of Test ResultsThis test method provides information that allows classification as described in 6.2. The comparison of materials within the same group is likely to be ambiguous unless three or more replicate specimens are tested. When the test method is used for specification purposes, do not establish simple minimum values without consideration of the large variance to be expected in test results. It is recommended that quality levels and specification minima be determined by statistical techniques.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This test method is intended to differentiate solid electrical insulating materials with respect to their resistance to the action of electric arcs produced by conduction through surface films of a specified contaminant containing moisture. Test Methods and D2303 are also useful to evaluate materials.

    1.2 The values stated in inch-pound units are the standard, except in cases where SI units are more appropriate. The values in parentheses are for information only.

    1.3 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 precautionary statements are given in 12.4.

    Note 1—There is no equivalent ISO standard.


    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

    D709 Specification for Laminated Thermosetting Materials

    D1711 Terminology Relating to Electrical Insulation

    D2302 Method of Test for Differential Wet Tracking Resistance of Electrical Insulating Materials with Controlled Water-to-Metal Discharges

    D2303 Test Methods for Liquid-Contaminant, Inclined-Plane Tracking and Erosion of Insulating Materials


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 29.035.01 (Insulating materials in general)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code


    DOI: 10.1520/D2132-12

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