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Standard Test Method for Gassing of Insulating Liquids Under Electrical Stress and Ionization (Modified Pirelli Method)

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Standard Test Method for Gassing of Electrical Insulating Liquids Under Electrical Stress and Ionization (Modified Pirelli Method)


1.1 This test method measures the rate at which gas is evolved or absorbed by insulating liquids when subjected to electrical stress of sufficient intensity to cause ionization in cells having specific geometries.

1.2 This test method is not concerned with bubbles arising from supersaturation of the insulating liquid.

1.3 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of whoever uses this standard to consult and establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use. For specific precautions see 5.1.4 and 8.4.

Significance and Use

For certain applications when insulating liquid is stressed at high voltage gradients, it is desirable to be able to determine the rate of gas evolution or gas absorption under specified test conditions. At present time correlation of such test results with equipment performance is limited.

In this test method, hydrogen (along with low molecular weight hydrocarbons) is generated by ionic bombardment of some insulating liquid molecules and absorbed by chemical reaction with other insulating liquid molecules. The value reported is the net effect of these two competing reactions. The aromatic molecules or unsaturated portions of molecules present in insulating liquids are largely responsible for the hydrogen-absorbing reactions. Both molecule type, as well as concentration, affects the gassing tendency result. Saturated molecules tend to be gas evolving. The relation between aromaticity and quantity of unsaturates of the insulating liquid and gassing tendency is an indirect one and cannot be used for a quantitative assessment of either in the insulating liquid.

This test method measures the tendency of insulating liquids to absorb or evolve gas under conditions of electrical stress and ionization based on the reaction with hydrogen, the predominant gas in the partial discharge. For the test conditions, the activating gas hydrogen, in contrast to other gases, for example, nitrogen, enhances the discrimination of differences in the absorption-evolution patterns exhibited by the insulating liquids. Insulating liquids shown to have gas-absorbing (H2) characteristics in the test have been used to advantage in reducing equipment failures, particularly cables and capacitors. However, the advantage of such insulating liquids in transformers is not well defined and there has been no quantitative relationship established between the gassing tendency as indicated by this test method and the operating performance of the equipment. This test method is not concerned with bubble evolution, which may arise from physical processes associated with super-saturation of gases in oil or water vapor bubbles evolving from wet insulation.


gas absorbing; gas evolving; gassing; insulating liquids; insulating oils; ionization; Pirelli method; ICS Number Code 29.040.10 (Insulating oils)

To find similar documents by ASTM Volume:

10.03 (Electrical Insulating Liquids and Gases; Electrical Protective Equipment)

To find similar documents by classification:

29.040.10 (Insulating oils)

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Document Number


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Publication Date

Oct. 10, 2000

Document Type

Test Method

Page Count

5 pages

Committee Number