Use of Eddy Current Technology to Assist in the Evaluation of the Fatigue Damage of Electrical Conductors

The article deals with the evaluation of fatigue damage on overhead conductors which have been in service for a period exceeding 50 years. Under wind excitation, electrical transmission lines are subjected to aeolian vibrations that may induce wire fatigue of conductor at the exit of supporting equipment. This fatigue phenomenon is a fretting fatigue problem which is located at contact points between wires belonging to adjacent wire layers or between external layer wire and the supporting equipment. This article reports the methodology followed: 1) in selecting wires with the more severe damaged contact point using eddy current technology and 2) in comparing, through a metallographic examination, the contact points of those selected wires coming from in situ worn conductors and from laboratory fatigue tested virgin conductors used as reference.

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