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Research in the Electrical Industry

    Naturevolume 135page989 (1935) | Download Citation



    THE fourteenth annual report of the British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Association (the E.R.A.) shows that the electrical industry is fully alive to the commercial value of research. It has been well supported both by the Government and the various branches of the industry during last year, and although we do not agree that there can never be a point “at which research has all the support it needs and deserves”, it has certainly not been “oversubscribed” in the past. The long list of researches the Association has before it, still inadequately financed, shows that there is need for further co-operative help. It is interesting to read that designers of insulating material for electrical material are now attaching less importance to a knowledge of the electric strength of their materials and more to their thermal conductivity. The importance of Fourier's theorems on the conduction of heat is being fully recognised, and also that temperature is a leading factor in electrical breakdowns. For some years the flame of the Meker burner has been the standard for the determination of “resistance to naked flame”. It has been found that the standardisation of the burner flame in conjunction with simple correction factors is unsatisfactory, as flame temperature is not correlated to the calorific value of the gas in a simple manner. Further experiments are being made to develop a standard flame for scientific tests in connexion with ‘inflammability’. The electrical resistivity map of the soil of England and southern Scotland has now been completed, and a summary of the work done on telephone interference has been published. Tests on radio interference are in progress. A list is given of the Government departments, engineering and scientific institutions, universities and colleges which have co-operated in the work of the Association.

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