DC Conductivity Measurements of LDPE: Influence of Specimen Preparation Method and Polymer Morphology
Paper in proceedings, 2017
DC conductivity measurements are important for gain- ing fundamental understanding of conduction mecha- nisms of insulation materials, as well as in the develop- ment of HVDC power system components, such as extruded cable systems. In this study, the influence of sample processing on the morphology and DC conduc- tivity of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) has been studied. Direct compression moulding of LDPE pellets is commonly used in research laboratories for obtaining plaque samples, whereas extrusion is an additional commonly used technique for dispersion of particles in nanocomposites prior to the compression moulding process. In this study LDPE plaques have been obtained by either compression moulding directly from pellets, or by extrusion followed by compression moulding. The morphology obtained in the first case consisted of band- ed spherulites, whereas the latter method yielded a mor- phology of small axialites. The difference in sample processing had also an impact on the DC conductivity. The DC conductivity at 22 °C and 3.3 kV mm-1 was of the order of 4x10–18 S m-1 for the plaques obtained by extrusion and compression moulding whereas the plaques obtained by direct compression moulding ex- hibited a conductivity of 1x10–16 S m-1. In addition, the reproducibility of the performed DC conductivity meas- urements was also verified in a round robin test per- formed between the Royal Institute of Technology and Chalmers Technical University.