Nonlinear Dynamics

, Volume 69, Issue 4, pp 1651–1663 | Cite as

Experimental test and modeling of hollow-core composite insulators

  • Hwasung RohEmail author
  • Nicholas D. Oliveto
  • Andrei M. Reinhorn
Original Paper


Hollow-core composite post insulators, used in high voltage electrical equipment, are important parts of the power substation systems. In many applications the composite insulators are considered as slender cantilever columns, fixed at one end and connecting to a conductor at the other end. During earthquakes the post insulators are damaged and sometimes fail near their base connection. When the post is pulled laterally, the tube dislocates from the walls in the end flange, and slips in and out the flange. Subsequently the composite tube sticks in the flange and slips again if the load is reversed, as it is occurring during earthquakes. In this study, an analytical model is developed using a combination of linear and nonlinear springs, viscous and frictional dampers and inertial masses. The developed macroscopic model is governed by a third-order differential equation which is derived in a state-space and solved by using Runge–Kutta integration in MATLAB. Several prototype insulators have been tested at the University at Buffalo’s Structural Engineering and Earthquake Simulation Laboratory (SEESL). Through a methodical identification of the stiffness, mass, friction, and damping properties, the analytical model is verified to produce reliable estimates of strength, damping and global behavior.


Hollow-core composite insulators Macroscopic modeling Friction-viscous damping model Stick-slip behavior State-space approach Experimental tests Failure modes 



applied initial force within elastic range


applied initial displacement within elastic range


elastic frequency


elastic or stick stiffness


plastic or sliding stiffness


total stiffness during sliding response


total frequency during sliding response


applied initial force in the sliding range


applied initial displacement in the sliding range

〈 〉

McCauley bracket


frictional force


force developed in the sliding spring


partial derivative in respect to time


viscoelastic displacement


slip displacement


total displacement


viscous damping ratio


mass of electric insulator


natural frequency of elastic system


ratio of elastic to sliding stiffness



This research is a part of a project on “Reducing Disruption of Power Systems in Earthquakes: Advanced Methods for Protecting Substation Equipment”, financially supported by the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) (Contract #: 00037794) in the USA and by the Consortium of Utility Companies (CUC).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hwasung Roh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nicholas D. Oliveto
    • 2
  • Andrei M. Reinhorn
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringHanyang UniversityAnsanKorea
  2. 2.Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental EngineeringUniversity at Buffalo, The State University of New YorkBuffaloUSA

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