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Evaluation of Kapton pyrolysis, arc tracking, and flashover on SiO(x)-coated polyimide insulated samples of flat flexible current carriers for Space Station FreedomKapton polyimide wiring insulation was found to be vulnerable to pyrolization, arc tracking, and flashover when momentary short-circuit arcs have occurred on aircraft power systems. Short-circuit arcs between wire pairs can pyrolize the polyimide resulting in a conductive char between conductors that may sustain the arc (arc tracking). Furthermore, the arc tracking may spread (flashover) to other wire pairs within a wire bundle. Polyimide Kapton will also be used as the insulating material for the flexible current carrier (FCC) of Space Station Freedom (SSF). The FCC, with conductors in a planar type geometric layout as opposed to bundles, is known to sustain arc tracking at proposed SSF power levels. Tests were conducted in a vacuum bell jar that was designed to conduct polyimide pyrolysis, arc tracking, and flashover studies on samples of SSF's FCC. Test results will be reported concerning the minimal power level needed to sustain arc tracking and the FCC susceptibility to flashover. Results of the FCC arc tracking tests indicate that only 22 volt amps were necessary to sustain arc tracking (proposed SSF power level is 400 watts). FCC flashover studies indicate that the flashover event is highly unlikely.
Document ID
Document Type
Contractor Report (CR)
Stueber, Thomas J.
(Sverdrup Technology, Inc. Brook Park, OH, United States)
Mundson, Chris
(Cleveland State Univ. OH., United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1993
Subject Category
Engineering (General)
Report/Patent Number
NAS 1.26:191106
Funding Number(s)
PROJECT: RTOP 474-46-10
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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