Image analysis and laser induced fluorescence combined to determine biological growth on silicone rubber insulators
2005 (English)In: Polymer degradation and stability, ISSN 0141-3910, E-ISSN 1873-2321, Vol. 88, no 3, 394-400 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
High-voltage outdoor insulators made from silicone rubber are sometimes reported to be colonised by microorganisms. When the hydrophobic polymeric surface is covered by a hydrophilic biofilm, the electrical properties of the insulator are altered. In this work, mixed biofilms, similar to those formed on the surfaces of polymeric insulators in the field, were successfully grown on five types of silicone rubber substrates in the laboratory, using specially designed microenvironment chambers. Photography and digital image analysis were utilized to estimate the areas covered by the growth. It was found that direct UV-light exposure hindered growth of the biofilms. Further, growth was also hindered on samples where zinc borate had been added as flame retardant. In contrast, addition of ATH did not influence the growth. In parallel, LIF spectroscopy was explored as a tool for detection of biofilms on silicon rubber samples. Experiments revealed that even weak traces of growth, not visible to the naked eye, could be detected. Finally, it is believed that LIF spectroscopy in combination with image analysis can be used for field diagnostics of biological growth on insulators in service.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. 88, no 3, 394-400 p.
silicone rubber, biological growth, biofilm, image analysis, LIF, insulators
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-5035DOI: 10.1016/j.polymdegradstab.2004.12.009ISI: 000228789700005ScopusID: 2-s2.0-14844286478OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-5035DiVA: diva2:7663
QC 201009172005-04-182005-04-182010-09-17Bibliographically approved