: Pollution of high voltage (HV) insulators is a phenomenon with a considerable impact to the performance of transmission and distribution electrical networks. The use of composite materials and especially Silicone Rubber proved to be an efficient improvement, capable of suppressing the problem and diminishing the flashover probability. As a result ceramic insulators in transmission lines are replaced by insulators with composite housing, either HTV Silicone Rubber or LSR. In the case of HV substations however, the replacement of insulators is rather difficult, due to the complexity of the equipment and the corresponding financial cost. In this case the application of RTV Silicone Rubber is an equivalent alternative. The ceramic insulators are covered with a 0.5 mm RTV SIR coating which provides the advantages of composite insulators on a ceramic substrate. After installation the possible material lifetime, which is determined by the service conditions and the material formulation, is of primary concern. In Crete, a large scale application exists and coatings that exceed a service period of 10 years are still in operation. The present study focuses on the structural and morphological characterization of field collected composite insulators of various ages so that the degradation degree can be correlated with their service.
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