Unlike a porcelain surface, a silicone surface is permanently hydrophobic or water-repellent. It is even capable of transferring its water-repellency to adhering particles of dirt. This is a huge advantage for silicone composite hollow-core insulators in areas of high airborne pollution, in intensively farmed regions and in coastal areas, says Dr. Hans-Jörg Winter, who has been in charge of an applied laboratory for the transmission and distribution market segment at WACKER SILICONES for over 20 years. “Rainwater and dew simply roll off the silicone sheds in beads,” adds Winter. “Even if the sheds are exposed to the elements for years outdoors, there is no risk of pollution flashovers, because a continuous, electrically conducting moisture film cannot form.” Silicone composite hollow-core insulators are unbreakable, earthquake-proof and weigh much less than their porcelain counterparts. They can withstand high internal pressure – up to 100 times atmospheric pressure – and will not shatter at higher internal pressures, i.e. they are explosion-proof.
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