Glow Wire Tester: A Detailed Study

Safety should be the paramount interest in the case of an appliance wiring system. As the consequences of the short-circuit, human misapplication, over-current, it can spark and catch fire anytime. This is why fire protection requirement is a must. Fire protection requirements are created to test, evaluate and rate the flammability of the materials used to build an appliance. After 2001, glow wire testing is one of the necessary things used in the appliance industry.

What is glow wire testing?

Needless to say, a significant number of methods have been created to evaluate material flammability and fire resistance. These include both direct flame and indirect flame testing methods. The direct flame testing method is a widely accepted method. It involves applying a flame directly to a horizontally or vertically mounted specimen under controlled conditions. On the other hand, the acceptance of indirect flame testing method is growing gradually after 2001. It includes a non-flaming heat source applied to a sample. Glow wire testing undergoes the second category. To be more precise, it is an example of the indirect flame testing method.

Glow wire testing is basically an indirect safety test designed to test the flame resistant properties of plastic materials used to electrical appliances of devices. The objective of designing it is to ensure safety. It protects the fire caused by overheated or electrically energized parts. In many cases, overheated parts ignite plastic materials covering them from all sides. This can happen even in the case of normal use. The glow wire simulates an over-heated part that comes in contact with plastic materials and sets fire. This testing method gives a way to weigh and compare the materials’ tendency that aids to resist ignition and self-extinguish flames. As the consequence of it, fire cannot spread via dripping.

Declaring the existing testing methods inadequate in covering all ignition sources, The International Electrical Commission (IEC) introduced the glow-wire testing method in 2001. Since then to date, this method has been updated and upgraded many times to make it more subtle and cleverer. Now the popularity of this method is growing rapidly.

Glow Wire Tester

From the above paragraphs, it is very clear that a Glow Wire Tester is used to determine the fire hazard of electrical parts and components subjected to various malfunctions like reasonable abnormal use, overload, poor connection, short-circuit, or others that might ignite and spread the flame to the other part of the product. Modern Glow-Wire Testers simulate an overloaded resistor or another ignition source. These apply heat to the specimen for a shorter period of time and simulate it as closely as possible to know the actual effects coming during the time of practice.

A temperature controller is fitted well with the thermocouple supplied with it to measure the glow wire temperature accurately. The electrical circuit of the control unit is completely protected by using fuses and a miniature circuit breaker.

Nowadays many reputable companies are manufacturing these to ensure the safety of the operators. You need to get one manufactured by a reputable company.