Journal of Failure Analysis and Prevention

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 47–51 | Cite as

Failure investigation of a downed power transmission line

  • S. M. French
Peer Reviewed Articles


A single section of transmission line, specified as 336.4 30/7 ACSR, C-Phase, was submitted for analysis after it was found to be failed in a township barn fire in April 1994. Transmission personnel desired to know whether the line had failed and resulted in the structure fire or whether the structure had caught fire and the subsequent conflagration resulted in the failure of the transmission line. Evaluation of the strands and the associated fracture faces indicate that the line failed at a temperature of approximately 650 °C (1200 °F) and that the temperatures did not get significantly higher than that. This supports the hypothesis that the failure of the line occurred as the result of the structure fire. None of the fractures examined showed any characteristics normally associated with arcing, such as occur in short-circuit type failures. Subsequent to this analysis, the structure fire was identified as being the result of arson, and the responsible individual was arrested and convicted.


ACSR aluminum fire damage transmission line 


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  1. 1.
    “Standard Specification of Concentric-Lay-Stranded Aluminum Conductors, Coated-Steel Reinforced (ACSR),” ASTM B 232-97, American Society for Testing and Materials, 1999.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© ASM International 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. French
    • 1
  1. 1.Metallurgy & Oil ChemistryPPL Generation, LLC, One Scotch Pine DriveHazleton

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