DISTRIBUTION TRANSFORMER TANK AND CABINET MATERIALS BASIC AND TUTORIALS

DISTRIBUTION TRANSFORMER TANK AND CABINET MATERIALS BASIC INFORMATION
What Are The Common Distribution Transformer Tank and Cabinet Materials?


A distribution transformer is expected to operate satisfactorily for a minimum of 30 years in an outdoor environment while extremes of loading work to weaken the insulation systems inside the transformer. This high expectation demands the best in state-of-the-art design, metal processing, and coating technologies.

Mild Steel
Almost all overhead and pad-mounted transformers have a tank and cabinet parts made from mild carbon steel. In recent years, major manufacturers have started using coatings applied by electrophoretic methods (aqueous deposition) and by powder coating.

These new methods have largely replaced the traditional flow-coating and solvent-spray application methods.

Stainless Steel
Since the mid 1960s, single-phase submersibles have almost exclusively used AISI 400-series stainless steel. These grades of stainless were selected for their good welding properties and their tendency to resist pit-corrosion.

Both 400-series and the more expensive 304L (low-carbon chromium-nickel) stainless steels have been used for pad mounts and pole types where severe environments justify the added cost.

Transformer users with severe coastal environments have observed that pad mounts show the worst corrosion damage where the cabinet sill and lower areas of the tank contact the pad. This is easily explained by the tendency for moisture, leaves, grass clippings, lawn chemicals, etc., to collect on the pad surface.

Higher areas of a tank and cabinet are warmed and dried by the operating transformer, but the lowest areas in contact with the pad remain cool. Also, the sill and tank surfaces in contact with the pad are most likely to have the paint scratched.

To address this, manufacturers sometimes offer hybrid transformers, where the cabinet sill, hood, or the tank base may be selectively made from stainless steel.

Composites
There have been many attempts to conquer the corrosion tendencies of transformers by replacing metal structures with reinforced plastics. One of the more successful is a one-piece composite hood for single phase
pad-mounted transformers.

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