What is a spark test?

A spark test is an inline voltage test used either during cable manufacturing or during a rewinding process. Spark testing is primarily for low voltage insulations and medium voltage non-conducting jacket or sheaths. The test unit generates an electrical cloud around the cable which in high frequency AC units appears as a blue corona around the cable. Any pin holes or faults in the insulation will cause a grounding of the electrical field and this flow of current is used to register an insulation fault.

Spark testers are usually fitted with counters indicating the number of faults. Different spark test voltages are applied which are determined by the cross-sectional area of the conductor and insulation material, with the appropriate voltage specified in the relevant cable standard.

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