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Influence of water uptake on the electrical DC-conductivity of insulating LDPE/MgO nanocomposites
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology.
KTH, School of Chemical Science and Engineering (CHE), Fibre and Polymer Technology, Polymeric Materials.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4774-4341
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2017 (English)In: Composites Science And Technology, ISSN 0266-3538, E-ISSN 1879-1050, Vol. 152, p. 11-19Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Low-density polyethylene (LDPE), typically in cross-linked form, is currently the main insulation material for extruded high voltage cables. The DC-conductivity of LDPE can be reduced 100 times by adding 1-3 wt% well-dispersed metal-oxide nanoparticles (MgO, ZnO, Al2O3), but the underlying physics remain unclear. One of several feasible explanations is that the nanoparticles attract electrical charges, polar molecules (H2O and crosslinking by-products) and ions (H+, OH-, salts and ionic species originating from the crosslinking by-products), and thus clean the polymer. Effective media FEM simulations, assuming that the polymer conductivity is proportional to the moisture content, were used in order to examine this hypothesis. Water sorption measurements for LDPE and MgO/LDPE nanocomposites were conducted as experimental input. The simulations could conceptually predict the experimentally measured composite conductivities. The hypothesis was further strengthened by DC-conductivity measurements on LDPE and MgO/LDPE nanocomposites at 0 and 50% relative humidity (RH), showing a 100-fold conductivity increase for the nanocomposite at the elevated humidity. The DC-conductivity of the most insulating composite (3 wt% MgO) was below 10(-16) S/m after 64 h at 60 degrees C and 0% RH, using an electric field of ca 30 kV/mm. The long-term insulation efficiency of an insulating polymer nanocomposite is thus optimal if the material is carefully dried and surrounded by an impenetrable moisture barrier before use.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 152, p. 11-19
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Computer and Information Sciences
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URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-218211DOI: 10.1016/j.compscitech.2017.09.009ISI: 000414825100002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85029154103OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-218211DiVA, id: diva2:1160144
Note

QC 20171124

Available from: 2017-11-24 Created: 2017-11-24 Last updated: 2018-01-13Bibliographically approved

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Nilsson, FritjofPallon, Love K. H.Gedde, Ulf WHedenqvist, Mikael S.

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