On the Use of Laser Ablation for Cleaning High Voltage Ceramic Insulators


High voltage lines are one of the main ways for carrying electric energy. To do so high voltage insulators are needed to insulate these lines from the supporting towers. Glass, ceramic and polymer insulators are widely used. Generally high voltage insulators are exposed to weather where humidity, from rain and moist, together with pollution allows accumulation of unwanted material on the surface of the insulator. Cleaning procedures are then needed to remove such material and avoid short-circuiting. The most commonly used cleaning methods are hand cleaning using chemicals that need turning off the main and water jet, which allows keeping the line in service. In this work we explore the possibility of using laser ablation for cleaning high voltage ceramic insulators. It is demonstrated that cleaning can be accomplished by a two-step process. First a Q-switched Nd: YAG laser is used to ablate the unwanted material. The second step is to use a free running Nd: YAG laser to restore the surface hydrophobicity of ceramic insulator, which is affected in the first process step.

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Posada, E. , Moreira, L. , Arronte, M. , Ponce, L. and Flores, T. (2014) On the Use of Laser Ablation for Cleaning High Voltage Ceramic Insulators. Journal of Surface Engineered Materials and Advanced Technology, 4, 257-261. doi: 10.4236/jsemat.2014.45029.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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