Dielectric and viscoelastic properties of cross-linked polyethylene aged under multi stressing conditions
IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, v. 11, n. 3, p. 406-417, 2004.
Leguenza, Elinton Luiz
Giacometti, José A.
Different measurements were performed in cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) employed as insulating material in coaxial cables that were field-aged and laboratory-aged under multi-stressing conditions at room temperature. Samples were peeled from the XLPE cable insulation in three different positions: just below the external semiconductor layer (outer layer), in the middle (middle layer) and just above the internal semiconductor layer of the cable (inner layer). The imaginary part of the electric susceptibility showed three peaks that obey the Dissado-Hill model. For laboratory-aged XLPE samples peeled from the inner and from the middle positions the peak at very low frequency region increased while in samples from the outer position a quasi-DC conduction process was observed. In medium frequency range a broadening of the peak was observed for all samples. Viscoelastic properties determined through dynamic mechanical analysis suggested that the aging generates processes that promoted changes of the crystallinity and the cross-linking degrees of the polymer. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) measurements revealed an increase of oxidation products (esters), evidence of polar residues of the bow-tie tree and the presence of cross-linking by-products (acetophenone). Optical and scanning electronic microscope (SEM) measurements in aged samples revealed the existence of voids and bow-tie trees that were formed during aging in the middle region of the cable.