Table of Contents
ISRN Nanomaterials
Volume 2014, Article ID 612154, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/612154
Research Article

Correlation between Structure and Dielectric Breakdown in LDPE/HDPE/Clay Nanocomposites

Department of Mechanical Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure (ÉTS), 1100 Notre-Dame Street West, Montreal, QC, Canada H3C 1K3

Received 7 January 2014; Accepted 3 March 2014; Published 19 March 2014

Academic Editors: M. Avella, J. Bai, J. W. Gilman, S.-R. Jian, and D. Ma

Copyright © 2014 B. Zazoum et al. 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

Cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) is commonly used in medium/high voltage insulation due to its excellent dielectric properties and acceptable thermomechanical properties. To improve both electrical and thermal properties to a point that would possibly avoid the need for crosslinking, nanoclay fillers can be added to polymer matrix to form nanocomposites materials. In this paper, PE/clay nanocomposites were processed by mixing a commercially available premixed polyethylene/O-MMT masterbatch into a polyethylene blend matrix containing 80 wt% low density polyethylene LDPE and 20 wt% high density polyethylene HDPE with and without compatibilizer using a corotating twin-screw extruder. Various characterization techniques were employed in this paper, including optical microscopy, AFM, TEM, TGA, DMTA, and dielectric breakdown measurements in order to understand the correlation between structure and short-term dielectric breakdown strength.