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What Are Standoff Insulators?

Standoff insulators provide electrical insulation and mechanical support by maintaining a distance between two surfaces.
Photograph of Termate's family of standoff insulators

At Termate we help customers to understand what is important for electrical insulation components, this time looking at what a standoff insulator is. If you have any topics you’d like us to consider for future articles, please contact our customer support team.

Standoff Insulators, also known as post or bobbin insulators, are a type of electrical insulator that provides electrical insulation and mechanical support in a wide variety of assemblies. 

They maintain a distance between two surfaces to ensure they do not touch and prevent electricity from jumping between them.

Standoff insulators can be used similarly to busbar supports by providing insulation between a conductor and a mounting surface. However, they can be used for other applications where an electrically insulating part is needed to provide strong mechanical support. 

Our Standoff Insulators are designed to suit application up to and including 1000V AC and 1500V DC. There are various international standards which define this range of voltage as Low Voltage.

Our Standoff Insulators, are manufactured to suit these Low Voltage applications. The material we have selected provide the electrical insulation characteristics along with the mechanical durability to suit many applications.

Electrical resistance is a key characteristic of standoff insulators; therefore, manufacturers must choose materials with the appropriate electrical resistance.

Typically, the higher the voltage requirements the length of the insulator increases, but the selection of material used in the insulator is also important.

With high voltages (over 33kV), insulators are made from materials such as glass and porcelain. Medium-voltage (above 3.3kV) insulators can be made from epoxy resin.

Low-voltage (up to 1000V AC, 1500V DC) insulators are usually made from compressed materials such as dough-moulded compound (DMC) or injection moulded polymers such as nylon 66.

There are a number of different mechanical solutions to our Standoff Insulators, some are more mechanical in nature, which may not be electrically insulating. Others may be manufactured of unfilled nylon (no glass fibre content) which may offer good electrical insulation, but are less mechanically durable.

We have smaller insulators, pillar insulators, these can be used in very compact applications such as Rail applications and Electric Vehicles.

For applications in enclosed spaces, such as underground or on board ships, where there is a need for elevated fume control, our Rail Application Standoff Insulators may be suitable

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