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In terms of their electrical properties, plastics can be divided into thermosetting and thermoplastic materials, some of which are conductive or semiconductive. This article provides detailed information on factors that affect the property of plastics. It discusses the major test methods used to determine the following dielectric properties of plastics: dielectric breakdown voltage, dielectric strength, dielectric constant, dissipation factor, arc tracking resistance, insulation resistance, volume, and surface resistivity or conductivity. The test specifications and conditions, recommended by several U.S. and foreign testing organizations for characterizing the electrical properties of plastic materials are listed. The article describes the influence of these properties on selection of plastics for insulation application. An outline of the electromagnetic shielding and testing methods of electromagnetic interference are also provided. Designations, electrical properties, and applications of elastomers are tabulated.

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