The role of color in insulators for the utility industry
The incorporation of certain colors in the manufacture and coating of electrical insulators is an issue that remains open to differing points of view. Here are a few details concerning the use of color coatings in these products.
First, it`s important to note that the coating applied to insulators is an essential component in the performance of these products. A coating provides the product with improved strength and tensile properties as well as ease of cleaning; nevertheless a color associated with the coating offers no additional product features or benefits aside from the aesthetic requirements found in certain markets. It is generally agreed that the use of the color brown or the color gray reflects the desire to match – and standardize – the product given the environment it will be installed in.
Research conducted by the technical and commercial teams of GAMMA Insulators concerning the use of the color has determined that among customers, it is desirable to have a single color standard both to ensure compliance with regional parameters and to facilitate the use of our products in different markets around the world.
In this regard we have adopted ANSI norm Z55.1 of 1967 (R 1973) for the gray number 70. This norm regulates specific color use, not just for the insulator but for most of the electronic equipment as well. This norm is based on the Munsell color notation scale 58G 7,0/0,4y , and includes the following tolerances:
1) Hue: +-12 (3G to 7B)
2) Value: +- 0.5
3) Chroma: -0.2 to +0.6
IMPLEMENTING COLOR CHANGE IN OUR MANUFACTURING AND COATING PROCESSES:
The ANSI Z55.1 standard for gray 70 involves the implementation of various statistical controls throughout the manufacturing and coating process at GAMMA Insulators. These include examination of changes in pigments, use of color samples, and adjustments in process variables such as analysis of burning temperatures for certain products – all to ensure compliance with the ANSI standard.
Once the color characteristics required by the standard are obtained, it is important to ensure the reproducibility of the color in different product batches where the coating is used.
Since color reproducibility depends on different variables associated not just with the coating process but with the raw materials used, the ANSI 70 norm provides guidance during testing through a color comparison chart to ensure the coating color is found to be within an acceptable range of grays under certain lighting conditions – provided testing is conducted in the same manner under the same circumstances. It is important to note that within this range, there may be slight differences in the color of the insulators that do not constitute a breach of the standard.
GAMMA Insulators is committed to complying with the specifications of the ANSI Z55.1 norm regarding the color gray. In that regard, we are currently in a transition period. In the coming months, inventories will be closely monitored as we implement changes in our production and process systems. It is possible that during the course of this transition period, some products with slightly different gray shades may make their way into the distribution system. Please be advised that these miniscule changes in color do not affect or undermine our compliance with the ANSI standard, or our company’s assurance of quality or product performance under any circumstances.