7 Facts On Paper As An Insulator (Why And Uses)

An insulator means a material which does not willingly conduct electricity or a material which does not gladly permit the passing of heat or sound. Let us see some facts on whether the paper as an insulator or not.

Paper is an insulator when dry because electrical insulation is good with paper in that state and when the voltage is not crack via the holes in the paper. If the liquidity is high, the paper loses electrical and thermal insulation capability.

If the temperature reaches 200°C then the paper can decline or liable to ultraviolet from a sun. Seeing the vital importance of an insulator, let us concentrate on why is paper a good electric insulator, is paper a good heat insulator and uses of paper as an insulator, and many more questions in this article.

Why is paper a good electric insulator?

Electrical insulation papers are a type of paper that are utilized in electrical insulation in many exercises by virtue of pure cellulose having fine electrical properties. Let us see why is paper a good electric insulator.

Paper is an excellent electric insulator because the paper does not let heat or electric energy flow via the substance and also it is a non-metal material which is having electrons that are tightly confined. Due to restricted independence for electrons to pass, the circulation of a current is obstructed.

Paper is made up of wood pulp and is utilized in a high voltage transformer to bind the hundreds of thousand copper windings.

Is paper a good heat insulator?

A heat insulator is something that averts heat from one place to another place. Let us see whether the paper is a good heat insulator or not.

Paper is a good heat insulator because the ingredient cellulose in the paper does not allow heat to flow from one end to the other end. Paper diminishes the evaporation, conduction and heat radiation.

Uses of paper as an insulator

 In an insulator, the valence electrons are closely bound together and an insulator have large dielectric strength. Let us see the uses of paper as an insulator.

  • High voltage power cable paper
  • Transformers
  • Motors winding
  • Capacitors
  • Electrical and telephone cables

High voltage cable paper

The paper is usually 65-155 g/m2 and generated on two wrinkle paper machines. This is used in submarine power cables at very high voltages. In case of seepage, the paper will emboss and avoid water from moving throughout the cable.


A wood pulp paper (Kraft paper) is used in a transformer because it has the greatest dielectric strength and also unconfined from conducting particles. This type of paper is inexpensive and finest insulation materials used in transformers.

Motor winding

Insulation paper is put during the motor winding because high-temperature and higher power density of electrical drive motors authorize long-term electrical perseverance and also helps to increase fidelity and expand apparatus service life.


Capacitor tissue paper is used in capacitors which is exceedingly clean and thin tissue paper with high value of dielectric constant as the capacitor’s dielectric capability increases by numerous folds.

Electrical and telephone cables

Electrical and telephone cables were insulated with thick paper because the natural cellulose in paper makes it a strong electrical insulator.

Is cotton a better insulator than paper?

Cotton fabric is famous because it is easy to care for and comfortable throughout the year. Let us see is cotton a better insulator than paper or not.

Cotton is a better insulator than paper because cotton does not conduct any heat because cotton is usually filled with air as air is a poor conductor of heat. Cotton is made up of freely knitted fibers and between them a huge amount of air is confined.

Cotton is a comprehensive heat insulator as long as it is dry. Once the cotton is wet it acts like a poor insulator.

When does paper conduct electricity?

The materials which conduct electricity like silver, copper, and aluminum due to the presence of free electrons. Let us see when paper conducts electricity.

The paper does conduct electricity in the following situation,

  • Paper immersed in ultra pure water can conduct electricity because it has tiny conductivity due to the water’s infirm separation into hydrogen and hydroxide ions.
  • If the paper is containing any ionic substance such as salt then the electrical conductivity will increase.
  • When liquid paper is vulnerable to adequate heat, the paper will burn and the flames conduct electricity very well.
  • Metal paper clips conduct electricity. The total conduction charge of the paper clip is equal to 1700 coulombs.


Let us wrap up this post by stating that paper is one of the very good electrical insulators. Under standard temperature and pressure of 25 degrees Centigrade and 1 atmosphere, the thermal conductivity of paper is 0.05 watts per meter Kelvin.

Megha BR

Hi, I am Megha B R, I have completed my Post-Graduation in Solid State Physics and pursuing B. Ed. I am a Physics enthusiast. As an Academic writer, my goal is to reach the readers in a simplified manner through my articles. Let's connect through LinkedIn-https://www.linkedin.com/in/megha-br-08a129206

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