Evaluation of the Performance of Several Object Types for Electrical Treeing Experiments
Journal article, 2013
A comparison of the efficiency of various types of object for studying the development of electrical trees in polymers is presented. Two types of newly developed wire-plane objects are investigated and compared with two versions of the traditionally used needle-needle objects. The two needle-needle objects are prepared according to ASTM standard and act as references, whereas the alternative objects rely on use of an ultra-thin tungsten wire (10 and 20 µm) in the test objects for providing the highly divergent electric stress. In one type of those object the wire extends from a semiconducting tab embedded in the tested material, while in the other type, the embedded wire is extended and connected externally by means of a copper tape. The comparison is made using cross linked polyethylene (XLPE) for the testing purposes. The wire type objects provide some promising advantages, including parallel formation of several electrical trees and an exposure of a larger material volume. Further advantages include the considerable simplification of both the manufacturing and the measuring procedures. Among the newly developed test objects, the one without the semiconducting tab is considered most advantageous as it allows for more accurate treeing initiation measurements at a lower voltage level. On the other hand the disadvantage is a formation of kinks on the wire that results from polyethylene shrink during sample preparation, which may yield some difficulties in correctly estimating the local field strength locally as well as straining the surrounding material. However the multitude of electric trees formed in each sample allows to easily discard the trees growing at such imperfections in following data analyses. Although finding a statistical method that makes good use of all the data poses a challenge, a suggested approach is presented.
cross linked polyethylene