Home | Physics | What is Electrical Insulator?-Definition, Uses, And Properties

What is Electrical Insulator?-Definition, Uses, And Properties

August 15, 2022
written by Adeel Abbas

An electrical insulator is a material that is used to isolate electrical power systems from each other. There are many different types of insulators. Some of them are rubber, polyurethane, silicone, etc. Here I am going to tell you the uses and properties of the insulators.

What is Electrical Insulator?

Poor conductors of heat and electricity are referred to as insulations. The high voltage supply through an electrical circuit can be extremely dangerous, but if the wires are insulators the danger will be reduced. Plastic, wood, glass, rubber, and air are some examples of insulators. Impurities can be used to convert an insulator into a conductor.

This is the electric property of solids. According to the energy band theory, In insulators, the electrons are tightly bound in their valence shells and they are not free to move. There is a gap between the valance band and the conduction band. This gap is called the forbidden gap.

image showing the energy band f electrical insulator

Pure water is an insulator, dirty water is a weak conductor when salt is added to the water it conducts well. There are a number of properties that limit the ability of the insulators to conduct electricity.

To make objects with high resistance, electrical insulators are made from materials with high Resistivity. It’s possible to prevent electric current from flowing where you don’t want them to. Insulators can be used for coating wires or as a dielectric in Capacitors.

The parts of electrical equipment that include electrical insulators are mainly used. The electrical wires which transfer electricity through households are covered with insulation material to prevent any safety hazards. There is an insulated covering on the electrical plugs to stop the flow of electrons from the metal sockets to your body.

Uses of insulators

The main purpose of insulators is to maintain the electric field and avoid any electrical shock. There are mainly two types of uses of insulators:

To isolate power lines from each other

This is an important use of insulators. When you are planning to install new lines or old ones, you need to keep an eye on safety. The lines are connected with each other by means of insulators, and they should be maintained. Sometimes the lines get damaged and it is not possible to repair them.

So, the best way to do it is to replace the damaged line and maintain it. If you don’t do this, then you might get an electrical shock.

Insulators are mostly used in railways to keep the trains apart from each other.

To maintain the ground

In a lot of houses, there is a lot of wiring that is used to transfer electricity. Sometimes, this wiring gets damaged and you need to replace it. But if you don’t replace it, then you might get shocked.

In such situations, you need to replace the damaged lines. This way, you can avoid any problems.

Properties of insulators     

The electrons are tightly held together in an instrument. They don’t have free electrons so they don’t conduct electricity. The maximum electric field that the insulator can endure without undergoing electrical breakdown is known as the dielectric strength. The ability of the material to allow air to flow through its pores is what makes good insulators.