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Thread: insulation vs isolation

  1. #1
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Aug 2011

    insulation vs isolation

    Can someone explain what the difference between insulation and isolation really is?

    I have read insulated and isolated cables before. Is it the same thing but the wrong usage of the word?

    I have also read "isolate the device". I think that means shutting it down and separating it from all power sources and other devices. Is that right?

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
    Administrator Kelly Bramble's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Bold Springs, GA
    Insulation refers to a material that wraps around or covers an electrical element to protect the electrical element from the environment. Via touching or rubbing or corrosion.

    Isolation could mean removing the electrical element from other electrical devices that could cause performance interfearance via induction, magnetic fields, etc.

  3. #3
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    Insulation is sometimes fiberglass, and it does just what the name implys it insulates you. You put it in walls, on the attic ceiling between the roof joists and usually its in every wall in your home. It helps reduce sound from the outside and cold or heat from coming into the house or leaving the house too quickly.
    Isolation requires that each transaction appear to be the only transaction manipulating the data store, even though other transactions may be running at the same time.
    Insulation has the connotation of protection, wrapping.
    Isolation has the connotation of distance, loneliness.

    Insulation is like armor- you use it to minimize inevitible losses.
    Isolation means staying away from a situation where losses can occur.
    Last edited by Kelly Bramble; 08-18-2011 at 06:30 AM.

  4. #4
    In mining circles, 'isolation' refers to removing potential sources of energy - suspended load, pressure, spring or, in this case, electricity.

    Good isolation means:
    - an attempt to start the machine or energise the installation cannot succeed.
    - those working on the installation attach a personal padlock to the isolation point, and are thus in command of their safety.
    - on larger jobs, a permit of isolation is sometimes used, whereby isolations are performed with 'master' locks, whose keys are then locked in a 'lock box'. The lock box typically has 100 or so holes around its edge to allow for the placement of personal padlocks.

  5. #5
    Associate Engineer
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    isolate means that thing is isolate, while the insulate means that it is being in insulating state or being insulated.

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