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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2015, Article ID 962767, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2015/962767
Research Article

Temperature Effect on Electrical Treeing and Partial Discharge Characteristics of Silicone Rubber-Based Nanocomposites

1Institute of High Voltage and High Current, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, 81310 Johor Bahru, Johor, Malaysia
2School of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 14300 Nibong Tebal, Penang, Malaysia
3Department of Engineering, University of Leicester, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK

Received 27 April 2015; Accepted 28 June 2015

Academic Editor: Mircea Chipara

Copyright © 2015 Mohd Hafizi Ahmad 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

This study investigated electrical treeing and its associated phase-resolved partial discharge (PD) activities in room-temperature, vulcanized silicone rubber/organomontmorillonite nanocomposite sample materials over a range of temperatures in order to assess the effect of temperature on different filler concentrations under AC voltage. The samples were prepared with three levels of nanofiller content: 0% by weight (wt), 1% by wt, and 3% by wt. The electrical treeing and PD activities of these samples were investigated at temperatures of 20°C, 40°C, and 60°C. The results show that the characteristics of the electrical tree changed with increasing temperature. The tree inception times decreased at 20°C due to space charge dynamics, and the tree growth time increased at 40°C due to the increase in the number of cross-link network structures caused by the vulcanization process. At 60°C, more enhanced and reinforced properties of the silicone rubber-based nanocomposite samples occurred. This led to an increase in electrical tree inception time and electrical tree growth time. However, the PD characteristics, particularly the mean phase angle of occurrence of the positive and negative discharge distributions, were insensitive to variations in temperature. This reflects an enhanced stability in the nanocomposite electrical properties compared with the base polymer.