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Best Practice

SABP-P-012 11 December 2007


Preparation & Application Procedure
for High Voltage Insulators Coating
Document Responsibility: Electrical Systems Designs and Automation

Saudi Aramco DeskTop Standards


Table of Contents

1 Introduction.................................................... 2
2 References..................................................... 2
3 Surface Preparation....................................... 3
4 Coating Application........................................ 4
5 Equipment Specification................................ 8
6 Clean-Up Procedure...................................... 9

Previous Issue: New Next Planned Update: 11 December 2012


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Primary contact: Anazi, Ayed Gaisoum on 966-3-8736119

CopyrightSaudi Aramco 2007. All rights reserved.


Document Responsibility: Electrical Systems Designs and Automation SABP-P-012
Issue Date: 11 December 2007 Preparation & Application Procedure
Next Planned Update: 11 December 2012 for High Voltage Insulators Coating

1 Introduction

Silicone coating is a versatile sprayable product used to protect insulators against


flashovers caused by hostile environments such as industrial pollution and salt fog, etc.
It has a generic polysiloxane formulation, which cures on exposure to atmospheric
moisture (water vapour) to form a strong elastomeric coating on the insulator. Superior
adhesive characteristics together with hydrophobicity retention and a robust self-cooling
mechanism enable Silicone coating to protect the insulator from the effects of dry band
arcing.

To achieve the optimum performance benefits from Silicone coating, it is important to


carefully follow the product application procedure.

The most important aspect of the application procedure is surface preparation of the
insulators to which Silicone coating is applied. This work must be carried out by
experienced applicator with a proven track record or under supervision.

2 References

2.1 Saudi Aramco References


SAES-P-107 Overhead Distribution Systems.
SEC-P-119.11 SEC-ERB Engineering Standard
15-SCMSS-01 SEC-CTA Material Standard Specification
15-SCMSS-01 Rev 01 Materials Standard Specification: For RTV
Silicone Rubber Outdoor Insulator Protective
Coating

2.2 Industry Codes and Standards


IEEE Guide For the Application, Maintenance, and Evaluation
of Room Temperature Vulcanizing (RTV)
Silicone Rubber Coatings for Outdoor Ceramic
Insulators
IEC 61109-1992 Composite Insulators for ac Overhead Lines with
a Nominal Voltage Greater than 1000
V.Definitions, Test Methods and Acceptance
Criteria
IEEE 100 The Authoritative Dictionary of IEEE Standards
Terms, Seventh Edition

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Document Responsibility: Electrical Systems Designs and Automation SABP-P-012
Issue Date: 11 December 2007 Preparation & Application Procedure
Next Planned Update: 11 December 2012 for High Voltage Insulators Coating

Gorur, R. S. et. al. Protective Coatings for Improving Contamination


Performance of Outdoor High Volt- Age
Ceramic Insulators,. IEEE Transactions on
Power Delivery, vol. 10, no.2, pp. 924.933,
April 1995
Gorur, R. S. et al. Round Robin Testing of RTV Silicone Rubber
Coatings for Outdoor Insulation,. IEEE
Transactions on Power Delivery, vol. 11, no. 4,
pp. 1881.1887, October 1996
STRI Guide 1, 92/1 Hydrophobicity Classification Guide, 1992

3 Surface Preparation

3.1 General Surface Preparation Procedure

The minimum requirements for Surface Preparation are:


a) Silicone coating must be sprayed on a pre-cleaned surface immediately
after the surface has dried. To save time and should it be necessary, a hot
air blower can be used to dry the surface.
b) For whatever reason, Silicone coating spray application is delayed, the
surface must be RE-CLEANED. This is necessary since, depending on
time lapsed after cleaning and the humidity conditions, moisture
condensation may leave the surface contaminated.
c) Recommended surface preparation is in accordance with SSPC (The
Society for Protective Coatings) specifications. Insulators should be
cleaned by carefully wiping with a rag dipped in solvent (e.g., acetone,
naphtha, etc.). SSPC-SP-1 "Solvent Cleaning", while written for cleaning
of steel surfaces, is a useful guide for successful cleaning of insulators,
whether made from ceramics, glass or composite construction.

3.2 Surface Preparation Procedure: New & Existing Insulators


a) Insulators to be coated must be thoroughly clean and dry.
b) In most instances, the insulators need only be cleaned using conventional
high pressure 3,000 to 6,000 psi at 8 to 10 g/min (207 to 414 bar at 30 to
38 L/min) water washer systems.
c) Insulators contaminated with cement-like materials can be cleaned using a
dry abrasive cleaner such as crushed corncobs or walnut shells mixed with
limestone.

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Document Responsibility: Electrical Systems Designs and Automation SABP-P-012
Issue Date: 11 December 2007 Preparation & Application Procedure
Next Planned Update: 11 December 2012 for High Voltage Insulators Coating

d) Greased insulators are particularly difficult to clean. Once the bulk of the
grease has been removed using a dry abrasive cleaner or simply by hand
wiping, the surface must be hand wiped clean using a solvent to remove
the residual film of grease.
e) Acetone or naphtha is recommended for the final wipe, and coating can
commence once the insulators are dry.

4 Coating Application

4.1 Spray Coating

a) New Insulators from manufacturer

The insulators are supplied from the manufacturer in custom-built crates.


These crates should be reused to transport the insulators to the jobsite after
coating. Do not damage these crates during opening.

After the insulator surface has been cleaned and dried thoroughly in
accordance with Section B2 above, the coating operation must commence
without delay in order to avoid dust and/or atmospheric pollutants settling
on the cleaned surface.

b) Existing Insulators from stock or removed from service

For ease of installation and shorter planned outages, a number of existing


insulators (either new or used) should be coated with Silicone coating off
site (preferably in a closed and ventilated building). When fully cured, these
insulators should be carefully wrapped and crated, transported to site and
assembled into strings at ground level, with the bubble wrap still in place.

Existing insulator strings can now be removed from service and


immediately replaced with the newly coated strings. Only when the
coated insulators are in place should the bubble wrap be removed.
The insulators so removed should then be cleaned and dried thoroughly in
accordance with Section B2 above and coated with Silicone coating (in the
same closed, ventilated building as the other insulators were coated), ready
for exchange with more existing strings and the process repeated until the
entire line has been upgraded.

The following conditions must be observed before Silicone coating is


applied:
1) The surface must be dry and free of dust and/or frost.
2) The ambient conditions must be less than 85% relative humidity.

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Document Responsibility: Electrical Systems Designs and Automation SABP-P-012
Issue Date: 11 December 2007 Preparation & Application Procedure
Next Planned Update: 11 December 2012 for High Voltage Insulators Coating

3) The temperature must be greater than 5C above the dew point.


4) Airborne contaminants must be avoided.

Spraying is best carried out using a fabricated support frame to carry the
insulators. This consists of a rectangular wooden frame constructed from
lumber "two by fours" i.e. wooden beams 2" wide by 4" deep (or the
closest metric equivalent). The beams are approximately eight feet long
and 4" apart to allow the metal hardware of the insulator to sit between
them, while the insulators themselves are supported. See sketch below for
details of this frame.

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Document Responsibility: Electrical Systems Designs and Automation SABP-P-012
Issue Date: 11 December 2007 Preparation & Application Procedure
Next Planned Update: 11 December 2012 for High Voltage Insulators Coating

To spray, the following procedure is employed:

As many insulators that will fit are placed side by side on the frame, in an
"upside-down" position (exposing the underside of the insulators). The
sprayer can then begin coating each insulator and move to the next, until
all insulators have been coated on one side.

The coated insulators should be left for at least 2 hours in a dust free area,
before being carefully turned over to allow the top sides to be coated, once
again using the frame to support them.

Coat insulators to a Dry Film Thickness (DFT) of 380 (15 mils). To


achieve this dry thickness, the Wet Film Thickness (WFT) should be
approximately 510 (20 mils). A conventional comb type wet film
thickness gauge can be used to measure wet film thickness.

4.2 Instructions for Use of Paint Wet Film Thickness Gauge

The following is to be carried out at random intervals during coating application:


a) Place the edge of the gauge with the expected range of teeth on the wet
film at a 90 angle.
b) Press into the film.
c) Withdraw gauge and observe which teeth that have "coating" on them.
Note which coated tooth has the highest depth marked on it and the next
higher tooth that is not coated.
d) The wet film thickness lies between these two readings.
e) Clean the gauge with solvent immediately after use.

Paint on a trial surface before coating an insulator and measure the wet film
thickness as described above. This will give the applicator an idea of the actual
thickness he needs to coat the insulator.

It is essential that all parts of the insulator skirts be completely coated all the
way into the concentric "valleys" between the skirt ridges. This is best achieved
by pointing the spray gun "tangentially" into the ridges rather than
perpendicularly.

4.3 Packaging

Leave the insulators a further 24 hours to ensure a complete cure. Very


carefully wrap each insulator individually with "bubble wrap" plastic sheets, so
that the coated surfaces are completely covered. The bubble wrap should be cut

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Document Responsibility: Electrical Systems Designs and Automation SABP-P-012
Issue Date: 11 December 2007 Preparation & Application Procedure
Next Planned Update: 11 December 2012 for High Voltage Insulators Coating

top and bottom so that the exposed metal hardware sections of the insulator
allow the insulator to be handled without touching the bubble wrap over the
coated insulator surface. Attach the bubble wrap sheets to the metal hardware
areas of the insulators using adhesive tape (duct tape, selotape, etc.).

This bubble wrap is to remain on all insulators until the insulator strings have
been assembled and installed into position at the jobsite. Only then can the
bubble wrap be removed.

The wrapped insulators can now be carefully placed in their original wooden
crates, from previously installed new insulators, or new wooden crates specially
made for shipping to the jobsite. Ensure that individual insulators are prevented
from rubbing against each other or the sides of the shipping crates, and that all
original packing materials (slots, cushions, etc.) are installed to prevent damage
to the insulators in transit.

Label all crates so that they are transported the correct way up and to be handled
with care.

As stated above, the bubble wrap is to be left in place until all insulator strings
are assembled and installed in position at the jobsite. Great care must be
exercised to ensure that the insulator coatings are neither scratched nor damaged
in any way during erection.

It is particularly important that, when the strings have been assembled and are
lifted into position, the lower insulator sheds on the string are not to be stepped
on. Considerable damage to the coating surface could result from such action.

If insulators coated with Silicone Coating become scratched in shipping and


handling or during installation, remove any loose coating material, and
thoroughly wash the area around the scratch using solvent as described in
Section 2.1.3 above. Dry the area and apply fresh Silicone Coating using a
small paintbrush.

5 Equipment Specification

Spray Pump: Airless spray system (preferred) or Air-assist "pressure pot" spray
system.

Spray Gun: Airless paint gun, or Air-assist paint gun rated for system
pressure, complete with a range of tips (nozzles) for either system

Air Compressor: Gasoline or diesel driven:


Flow and pressure as per spray system manufacturer's
requirements

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Document Responsibility: Electrical Systems Designs and Automation SABP-P-012
Issue Date: 11 December 2007 Preparation & Application Procedure
Next Planned Update: 11 December 2012 for High Voltage Insulators Coating

Suitably sized air filter housing to remove dirt from delivered


air
Suitably sized Coalescing air filter housing 0.001 c/w
automatic auto drain kit to remove moisture from delivered
air.

Miscellaneous: Solvent and rags for clean up


Latex gloves
Respirators 3M 6000 series (or equivalent) comprising half
faceplate c/w 3M 6001 organic vapour cartridge, 3M 2071
P95 particulate filter and retainer
Plastic film 2 mil (50) thick to cover contents of partially
used containers of Silicone Coating prior to resealing lid
when spraying operations cease for the day
Commercial "bubble wrap" plastic sheet to protect insulators
from accidental damage following coating.

6 Clean-Up Procedure

After each spray application, remove the spray gun and clean thoroughly with solvent
and flush out the entire spray system with solvent (Naphtha or Varsol). Drums or pails
containing unused or partially used Silicone coating must be sealed airtight at the end of
the day's spraying.

Revision Summary
11 December 2007 New Saudi Aramco Best Practice.

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