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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 463748, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/463748
Research Article

Evolution of Space Charges and Conductivity with DC Aging of Polyethylene-Synthetic and Natural Clay Composites

Power Measurement Group, Institute of Measurement Science and Standards, National Research Council Canada, 1200 Montreal Road Building, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0R6

Received 25 July 2012; Revised 9 November 2012; Accepted 11 November 2012

Academic Editor: Tianxi Liu

Copyright © 2012 Mahmoud Abou-Dakka. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The evolution of the space charge and conductivity with DC poling of two types of polypropylene-(PP-) based nanocomposites (PNCs) was investigated. The PNCs were manufactured with different concentrations of synthetic and natural organoclays. The optimal concentrations of nanofiller that can efficiently mitigate the space charge with DC aging time were 2-wt% for PP-natural-clay and between 2 and 4 wt% for the PP-synthetic-clay. Above these percentages charge transport through overlapping of nanoparticles can occur due to the interaction zone of double layers formed at the nanoparticle/host material interfaces. Under DC field the overlapping increases the conductivity of PNCs and minimizes the benefit of incorporating nanofillers into PP. The total charge stored in unfilled PP increased continuously with time reaching a maximum around 5000 h before decreasing but it also changed slightly in all filled specimens. It was perceived that the smaller the size of nanofiller platelets the more efficient the charge mitigation. The conductivity of specimens containing 6 wt% of natural clay and 8 wt% of synthetic clay reached 6 times the level of the unfilled PP. This observation could be related and due to the crossing of the percolation threshold for these composites.