Porcelain insulators should be exchanged periodically, but their lifetime is not clearly defined. One factor that affects service life is corrosion occurring at the pin and cap—each of which is made of iron with a zinc coating. A number of porcelain insulators used for different lengths of time in different locations are gathered, and the corrosion mechanisms of the cap and pin are investigated. The corrosion mechanism of the cap is mainly galvanic corrosion while that of the pin is primarily electrolytic and crevice corrosion as well as galvanic corrosion. Although time is an important factor in corrosion, it is found that corrosion is more influenced by geographical factors. Since the amount of acid rain and sea salt—each of which causes rapid rusting—is dependent on geographical factors, the location of where porcelain insulators are installed should be considered when predicting their lifetime. Theoretically, if there is only galvanic corrosion occurring, the expected lifetime is 56 years in an industrial area when the zinc coating has a thickness of 75 µm. Previous articles dealing with aging have predicted the maximum lifetime of porcelain insulators used in Korea to be approximately 30 years. To prolong the lifetime of porcelain insulators, further study is required in which the use of zinc alternatives, or waterproof coatings (in addition to the zinc coating), could be examined.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited