Family-owned and -operated since 1948, ESPE Manufacturing Co., Inc. knows about hard work and service. They’ve grown from a converted sewing machine in a coal shed, where the family began making parts during WWII, to the high-tech company they are today, providing custom electrical insulation and fabricated parts, including electrical insulators.
With our state-of-the-art equipment and knowledgeable team of skilled craftspeople, we can fabricate high-quality custom electrical insulators quickly and efficiently. From washers to gaskets, insulators to brush plate holders and more, we are the most technically proficient and experienced provider of non-metal parts and electrical insulation materials in the industry. Using precision laser-cutting, hydraulic presses, die-cutting, CNC turning, milling, shearing, and slitting, we can fabricate the parts you need to any tolerance.
What Are Electrical Insulators in Barriers?
Electrical insulators are non-conductive, synthetic materials used to create plastic parts that block electricity where it is not needed. The barriers are used to protect electrical workers, equipment, and anything that cannot or should not receive an electrical charge. It is also used in electrical conductors to direct the flow of energy to areas where it is needed.
There are many types of electrical insulation and barrier parts, all fabricated from different materials. The combination of physical, mechanical, and chemical properties depends on the application and environment in which the material will be used. Each part must conform to strength and flexibility standards, as well as comply with various other codes.
The most important qualities of electrical insulation barriers include:
- High flame-resistance
- Excellent arc- and track-resistance
- Good dielectric strength
- Good thermal performance
At ESPE, we manufacture many types of insulating barriers, including:
- Arc Chutes: Also known as arc splitters and arc dividers, arc chutes are a set of metal plates arranged in parallel with insulating materials between them. When electricity is conducted through air—such as when a circuit breaker trips during an electrical surge—the resulting arc must be extinguished to prevent damage to the breakers. Arc chutes are used to diffuse this energy and are commonly found in circuit breakers, contactors, isolators, and other high-current interruption devices.
- Electrical Bushings:This device transmits electrical power past barriers and must be made with materials that can withstand high voltages and transmit the current without overheating the surrounding insulation. Some examples are transformers, power capacitors, shunt reactors, and circuit breakers.
- Brush Plates:Brush plates allow cables to pass through an opening while shielding them from airflow, dust, dirt, and debris. The edges of the cutout are lined with a brush-like barrier that also protects cables from sharp edges, adds thermal insulation, and provides a visual screen. They are used in a variety of applications, including server racks, wall openings for television cables, raised floors, and machine walls. ESPE also manufactures brush plate holders.
- Bobbins: Bobbins may be used in electrical insulation housing and barriers to prevent electrical hazards.
Common Materials Used
Formex, Nomex, & Fishpaper/Vulcanized Fibre
ESPE can fabricate custom electrical insulating barrier parts from a variety of materials, depending on the cost, regulation codes, and application requirements and constraints for the project. Here are a few examples of the materials we use in barriers:
- ITW Formex: A custom flame-retardant material made of polypropylene and polycarbonate, ITW Formex is commonly used in shielding for electronic equipment.
- ITW Formex GS: Also a polypropylene-based electrical insulator, ITW Formex GS is specifically designed to shield sensitive components from electrostatic discharge.
- Nomex: A very thin flame-retardant material, this paper insulator is found in mobile phones, tablets, LCD/LED televisions, battery core pack wraps, and microwave oven transformer insulation, among other applications.
- Fishpaper/Vulcanized Fiber: This lightweight cellulose material transmits electrical energy without conduction. It’s also resistant against extreme temperatures, such as those that occur in gaskets, fuse tubes, contact bushings, insulating plates, and circuit breakers.
With over 70 years of experience and 30,000 sq. ft. of state-of-the-art, high-tech equipment, ESPE is the manufacturing facility of choice when you need custom electrical insulators. We fabricate everything from brush plates to arc chutes to bushings and more using a variety of industry-leading materials. Contact us today for more information.