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Revision E, October 1978

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Passive Electronic Component Parts, Test Methods for; Method 13: Insulation Resistance Test

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This test is to measure the resistance offered by the insulating members of a component part to an impressed direct voltage tending to produce a leakage of current through or on the surface of these . members. A knowledge of insulation resistance is important, even when the values are comparatively e high, as these values may.be limiting factors in the design of high-impedance circuits. Low insulation resistance, by permitting the flow of large leakage currents, can.disturb the operation of circuits intended to be isolated, for example, by forming feedback loops. Excessive leakage currents can eventually lead to deterioration of the insulation by heating or direct-current electrolysis. Insulation-resistance measurements should not be considered the equivalent of dielectric withstanding voltage or electric breakdown tests. A clean, dry insulation may have a high insulation resistance, and yet possess a mechanical fault that would cause failure in the dielectric withstanding voltage test. Conversely, a dirty, deteriorated insulation with low insulation resistance might not break down under a high potential. Since insulating members composed of different materials or combinations of materials may have inherently different insulation resistance, the numerical value of measured insulation resistance cannot properly be taken as a direct measure of the degree of cleanliness or absence of deterioration. The test is especially helpful in determining the extent to which insulating properties are affected be deteriorative influences, such as heat, moisture, dirt, oxidation, or loss of volatile materials.