SF6: The Perfect Gas for the Winona Utilities Industry


Mississippi Welders Supply Co., Inc. has emerged as a key supplier of dielectric gases – also known as insulating gases – for the Winona electrical utilities industry. These gases are used most often to either prevent or rapidly put an end to electrical discharges, for which their dielectric qualities make them perfect. The most important of these gases and the one most in demand from us is sulfur hexafluoride (SF6).

Utilities work with SF6 to electrically insulate high-voltage transformers, sulfur hexafluoride circuit breakers, switchgear, and other comparable types of devices.

In the matter of SF6 circuit breakers, they’re generally swapping out oil-filled circuit breakers (OCBs), which, because of the fear of their being polluted with now-banned, environmentally dangerous polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), are no longer preferred.

The prevalent use of SF6 under pressure in gas-insulated switchgear is due to its exhibiting a dielectric strength substantially higher than air or dry nitrogen (the latter another gas in wide use by our utilities industry customers).

One very real reward of SF6’s high electronegativity and density is that it lets the utilities industry diminish the size of electrical gear. This, in turn, allows locating such gear in more-practicable indoor environments, instead of air-insulating it outdoors. Gas-insulated gear located indoors is, of course, less prone to suffer the damages inflicted by climate and pollution. In addition, a controlled environment also helps assure greater system trustworthiness and longevity.

If for whatever reason you’re unfamiliar with SF6 and would like to learn more about its advantages in utilities industry application, consult with Mississippi Welders Supply Co., Inc., your Winona PurityPlus® Partner, today.