voltage cables. The oil has a high dielectric strength, and tends to prevent breakdown of the paper insulation. The paper must be thoroughly saturated with the oil. The thin paper tape is wrapped in many layers around the conductors, and then soaked with oil. ">
Paper has little insulation value alone. However, when impregnated with a high grade of mineral oil, it serves as a satisfactory insulation for extremely high-voltage cables. The oil has a high dielectric strength, and tends to prevent breakdown of the paper insulation. The paper must be thoroughly saturated with the oil. The thin paper tape is wrapped in many layers around the conductors, and then soaked with oil.
The three-conductor cable shown in figure 1-11 consists of paper insulation on each conductor. It has a spirally wrapped nonmagnetic metallic tape over the insulation. The space between conductors is filled with a suitable spacer to round out the cable. Another nonmagnetic metal tape is used to secure the entire cable. Over this, a lead sheath is applied. This type of cable is used on voltages from 10,000 volts to 35,000 volts.
Figure 1-11. - Paper-insulated power cables.
Silk and Cotton
In certain types of circuits (for example, communications circuits), a large number of conductors are needed, perhaps as many as several hundred.
Figure 1-12 shows a cable containing many conductors.
Each is insulated from the others by silk and cotton thread. Because the insulation in this type of cable is not subjected to high voltage, the use of thin layers of silk and cotton is satisfactory.
Figure 1-12. - Silk and cotton Insulation.
Silk and cotton insulation keeps the size of the cable small enough to be handled easily. The silk and cotton threads are wrapped around the individual conductors in reverse directions. The covering is then impregnated with a special wax compound.
The wire used on the coils of meters, relays, small transformers, motor windings, and so forth, is called magnet wire. This wire is insulated with an enamel coating. The enamel is a synthetic compound of cellulose acetate
(wood pulp and magnesium). In the manufacturing process, the bare wire is passed through a solution of hot enamel and then cooled. This process is repeated until the wire acquires from 6 to 10 coatings. Thickness for thickness, enamel has higher dielectric strength than rubber. It is not practical for large wires because of the expense and because the insulation is readily fractured when large wires are bent.
Figure 1-13 shows an enamel-coated wire.
Enamel is the thinnest insulating coating that can be applied to wires. Hence, enamel-insulated magnet wire makes smaller coils. Enameled wire is sometimes covered with one or more layers of cotton to protect the enamel from nicks, cuts, or abrasions.
Figure 1-13. - Enamel Insulation.
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