Active Standard ASTM D150 Developed by Subcommittee: D09.12
Book of Standards Volume: 10.01
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Significance and Use
5.1 Permittivity—Insulating materials are used in general in two distinct ways, (1) to support and insulate components of an electrical network from each other and from ground, and (2) to function as the dielectric of a capacitor. For the first use, it is generally desirable to have the capacitance of the support as small as possible, consistent with acceptable mechanical, chemical, and heat-resisting properties. A low value of permittivity is thus desirable. For the second use, it is desirable to have a high value of permittivity, so that the capacitor is able to be physically as small as possible. Intermediate values of permittivity are sometimes used for grading stresses at the edge or end of a conductor to minimize ac corona. Factors affecting permittivity are discussed in .
5.2 AC Loss—For both cases (as electrical insulation and as capacitor dielectric) the ac loss generally needs to be small, both in order to reduce the heating of the material and to minimize its effect on the rest of the network. In high frequency applications, a low value of loss index is particularly desirable, since for a given value of loss index, the dielectric loss increases directly with frequency. In certain dielectric configurations such as are used in terminating bushings and cables for test, an increased loss, usually obtained from increased conductivity, is sometimes introduced to control the voltage gradient. In comparisons of materials having approximately the same permittivity or in the use of any material under such conditions that its permittivity remains essentially constant, it is potentially useful to consider also dissipation factor, power factor, phase angle, or loss angle. Factors affecting ac loss are discussed in .
5.3 Correlation—When adequate correlating data are available, dissipation factor or power factor are useful to indicate the characteristics of a material in other respects such as dielectric breakdown, moisture content, degree of cure, and deterioration from any cause. However, it is possible that deterioration due to thermal aging will not affect dissipation factor unless the material is subsequently exposed to moisture. While the initial value of dissipation factor is important, the change in dissipation factor with aging is often much more significant.