Long-Rod Insulator | Ding des Monats April 2019

Thing of the Month April 2019
Long-Rod Insulator


Long-Rod Insulator, undated. Collection Werkbundarchiv – Museum der Dinge. Photo: Armin Herrmann, 2019.

The long-rod insulator was produced by Rheinisch-Westfaelische Isolatoren-Werke GmbH (RWI) based in Siegburg. As a complete ceramic component with high dielectric strength, it is suitable for medium-voltage applications. The design of long-rod insulators has scarcely changed since the mid-1930s and is functionally conditioned: exposed to numerous environmental influences such as rain, dust, snow or sea salt, the design reduces the risk of cable damage due to leakage currents. The ribbed shape increases the surface area and extends the creepage distance. The bevelled shields around the central insulator keep the underside dry and ensure the reduction of conductive segments.

The insulator is an object in the upcoming special exhibition „Unique Piece or Mass Product?“ (from April 4 to August 19, 2019) which among other things refers to the "Machine Art" exhibition organized in 1934 at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. This exhibition focused on the industrial aesthetics of machines, machine parts, and objectively designed everyday objects: geometric beauty, perfection, smoothness and plainness.