Third-Rail Insulators don't crack In an impressive short-circuit-test

 
05.03.2020
Pandrol and Railtech Alu Singen are world-leaders in installation of electrical supply of trains and especially metro systems. They focus on third-rail electrification systems for safe power supply of public and urban transport systems. Pandrol asked GIPRO to work on a cycloaliphatic cast-resin insulator for outdoor usage in a new power-rail system.

Together the part was defined, casting-mould was made and the new insulators were sampled and intensively type tested according several standards and requirements.

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They provided us a pretty good impression during our first contacts, this was 100% confirmed by first business we made together and by my personnal visit in their factory in Austria. Quite reactive, even if we sometimes we are requesting short lead time. Quality of products is really good and GiPro's always can adapts to your needs.
(Third Rail Projects Director at Pandrol)

A 120 kA short-circuit-test doesn't harm GIPRO insulators

Two tests were performed:
  • 120 kA AC for 15ms at 2 tons shock measured on the insulators with no damage
  • 120 kA DC for 15ms at 3 tons shock measured on the insulators with no damage.

These tests show evidence, that cycloaliphatic epoxy insulators are well suitable for the usage in third-rail metro systems. Not in all markets this is clear today, as many authorities are still orientated mostly on polyester insulators, as some are worried about expected brittleness of epoxy insulators.

Some material tests like impact strenght according ASTM D256 show big difference between the performance of polyester material samples compared to cast-resin material samples. But the test is just done on a very small slice of material and the polyester performs better, as it is filled with glas-fibres, while the CER-Insulator is filled with silica flour.

Nevertheless GIPRO recommends to give a focus on the overall mechanical performance of the complete insulator design and not on the value of a small material slice.

The complete GIPRO third-rail insulator easily outperformed the mechanical values in the type tests: the required tensile value was outperformed 10 times and the required bending value 3 times.

Additionally a lot of material tests were done like fire & smoke testings. The flammability according UL 94 was proven as V0 (13mm) and the rate of horizontal burn according ASTM D635 was found self extinguishing.

Check out the short-circuit-test video here: