IEC 60601-1 Third Edition: A Closer Look at Creepage Requirements – Tracking

25 July 2011

On July 4, this blog explored the need for creepage and clearance requirements. Today, this blog will take a closer look at Creepage – the shortest path between two conductive parts measured along the surface of the insulation.

Tracking is the process that produces an applicable path of localized deterioration on the surface of insulating material caused by electrical discharges close to the insulated part. A proper and adequate creepage distance protects against tracking. Why? By applying the appropriate distance between the conductive parts, the chance of bridging these parts is negligible due to the tracking.

What causes this tracking that can damage insulated material: Humidity in the atmosphere; presence of conductive contamination; corrosive chemicals; altitude at which equipment is to be operated.

To learn more about Third Edition and/or to speak with an Intertek expert on this subject matter, e-mail us at ThirdEdition@intertek.com.