Nanocomposites and polyethylene blends: two potentially synergistic strategies for HVDC insulation materials with ultra-low electrical conductivity
Journal article, 2021

Among the various requirements that high voltage direct current (HVDC) insulation materials need to satisfy, sufficiently low electrical conductivity is one of the most important. The leading commercial HVDC insulation material is currently an exceptionally clean cross-linked low-density polyethylene (XLPE). Previous studies have reported that the DC-conductivity of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) can be markedly reduced either by including a fraction of high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or by adding a small amount of a well dispersed, semiconducting nanofiller such as Al2O3 coated with a silane. This study demonstrates that by combining these two strategies a synergistic effect can be achieved, resulting in an insulation material with an ultra-low electrical conductivity. The addition of both HDPE and C8–Al2O3 nanoparticles to LDPE resulted in ultra-insulating nanocomposites with a conductivity around 500 times lower than of the neat LDPE at an electric field of 32 kV/mm and 60–90 °C. The new nanocomposite is thus a promising material regarding the electrical conductivity and it can be further optimized since the polyethylene blend and the nanoparticles can be improved independently.

Electrical conductivity


Polyethylene blend

HVDC insulation


F. Nilsson

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

M. Karlsson

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Ulf Gedde

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Roland Kádár

Chalmers, Industrial and Materials Science, Engineering Materials

Karolina Gaska

University of Bristol

Christian Müller

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Per Ola Hagstrand

Borealis AB

Richard Olsson

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

M. S. Hedenqvist

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Thomas Gkourmpis

Borealis AB

Composites Part B: Engineering

1359-8368 (ISSN)

Vol. 204 108498

Subject Categories

Polymer Chemistry

Polymer Technologies

Materials Chemistry



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