SF6: The “Perfect” Gas for the Indianapolis Utilities Industry


American Welding & Gas, Inc. is today acknowledged as a crucial supplier of dielectric gases – also called insulating gases – for the Indianapolis electrical utilities industry. Gases of this kind are used routinely to either avoid or swiftly extinguish electrical discharges, for which their dielectric properties make them ideal. The most notable of these gases and the one most purchased from us is sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Utilities employ SF6 to electrically insulate high-voltage transformers, sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers, switchgear, and other analogous types of hardware.

Where SF6 circuit breakers are involved, they’re pretty much singularly taking the place of oil-filled circuit breakers (OCBs), which, due to the fear of their being polluted with now-banned, environmentally unsafe polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are no longer favored.

The extensive use of SF6 under pressure in gas-insulated switchgear is the result of its having a dielectric strength markedly higher than air or dry nitrogen (the latter one more gas used almost universally by our utilities industry customers).

One major advantage of SF6’s high electronegativity and density is that it enables the utilities industry to cut the size of electrical gear. This makes it possible to place such gear in more-tractable indoor environments, instead of air-insulating it outdoors. Gas-insulated gear placed indoors is, of course, less likely to be affected by climate and pollution. Furthermore, a more-tractable environment also helps insure greater system dependability and longevity.

If for whatever reason you haven’t ever used SF6 and would like to understand more about its benefits in utilities industry application, consult with American Welding & Gas, Inc., your Indianapolis PurityPlus® Partner, today.