Browse Publications Technical Papers 2004-01-1565
2004-03-08

Electrical Arcing and Material Ignition Levels 2004-01-1565

Experimental data and analysis show the relationship between arcing watts, the time of the arc exposure and the degree to which common polymers experience damage. Arcing test apparatus for 125V DC and 48 volt DC are shown. Arc gap control allows 125-volts to mimic arcs in lower voltage systems. Arcing current waveforms depict the chaotic behavior of arcs and differences due to anode / cathode materials. Levels of degradation are defined and used for “Constant Damage Contours” for Vinyl, Carpeting and Sound insulation. The polymers were exposed to conditions of constant arcing watts for increasing times. Connecting the points of “first flame” establishes a “contour of constant damage”. The data indicates that a “3 second flame free” limit is between 50 and 100 watts. 4000 watts of arcing takes 1/4 to ½ second to cause burning. The influence of circuit resistance on the maximum arc power transfer is presented.

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