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ARP6216 - EWIS Insulation Breakdown Testing

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Document Number: ARP6216
Project Initiation: 01-06-2012
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Sponsor Name: William Eric Bassett
Title
EWIS Insulation Breakdown Testing
Scope
This document establishes the minimum requirements for the testing of electrical wiring insulation for aeronautical and aerospace applications. The testing requirements specified herein are to ensure that an adequate high resistance insulation for electric, avionic, armament, communication and electronic wiring systems is achieved which can withstand operating conditions and corrosion.
Rationale
Standardization of Electrical Wiring Interconnect Systems (EWIS) insulation breakdown testing for aerospace systems is critical for safety of maintenance personnel and preservation of aircraft systems. Fundamentally, how "good" the insulation is, and by extension, the overall condition of the EWIS. Insulation is constantly stressed over its life. Dirt, moisture, oil, corrosion, vibration, electrical spikes and surges, mechanical stresses from pulling and tugging, and many other factors add up to deteriorate insulation. This can be instantaneous, but is more likely to be a slow and steady decline over time. The remaining life of the equipment could be in years, or it could break down at the next startup. New wire will typically have insulation resistance values in many millions of Ohms, but by the time that gets down to a few Megohms, the wire or system will be approaching a critical status. Insulation measurements, especially if they've been repeated and recorded over time, enable the operator to determine where the test item is on the resistance - time graph, and take appropriate action.
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