A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF WOODEN AND COMPOSITE CROSSARM OF AN ELECTRIC UTILITY POLE
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Currently, most of the crossarms existing in the nation are made of wood. However, wood has a set of negative features like shorter life span due to environmental cracking, damages by insects and birds. Secondly, an insufficient strength and stiffness which is compensated either by increasing the cross-section or by reducing the span between two poles. Also, it’s reduced insulating property in case of high humidity of air which can be accounted to its hygroscopic behavior. Replacement of wooden crossarms by composite crossarms is a known solution to many problems. However, the existing projects are far from optimal. Present investigation is done for both wooden and composite type of crossarms by Finite Element Analysis, taking into account the real geometry of the object. Static analysis was done on popular species of wood such as Spotted Gum (Eucalyptus), Southern Pine (Loblolly) and Western Red Cedar. It was also carried on a hollow composite profile made of reinforced epoxy glass filled with polymeric foam for various configurations. All the simulations were made on ANSYS Workbench V17 software. Modeling of the crossarm assembly was carried on SOLIDWORKS. A set of chief characteristics like mass per unit length, relative stiffness, safety factor and cost were compared between wooden and composite crossarms from the simulated results. Also, some parameters of the composite crossarm were varied to optimize its current design.