perpendicular electric strength (dielectric strength)

A measure of the maximum voltage that a material will withstand before breaking down. A material is sandwiched between two electrodes. If the sample is small, the air surrounding it may break down first, causing a flashover around the surface of the sample from one electrode to the other. To reduce this tendency, tests are frequently run in oil. The rate of rise of the voltage and how long it is applied are also important to the test and its results.

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