Tailored Side-Chain Architecture of Benzil Voltage Stabilizers for Enhanced Dielectric Strength of Cross-Linked Polyethylene
Journal article, 2014
The synthesis and physico-chemical properties of seven benzil-type voltage stabilizers are reported. The benzil core is substituted with alkyl chains of different length that are linked to the benzil core via an ester, ether, or tertiary amine group. All additives can be melt-processed with low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy confirms that benzil compounds are not affected by the LDPE cross-linking reaction induced by dicumyl peroxide. Moreover, a combination of gel content measurements, thermal analysis, and small-angle X-ray scattering indicates that the presence of benzil voltage stabilizers does not significantly alter the microstructure of cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE). Electrical tree inhibition experiments under high-voltage alternating current conditions show that all investigated additives substantially enhance the dielectric strength of the insulating material at a concentration of only 10 mmol kg−1. The highest improvement in dielectric strength, of more than 70% with respect to reference XLPE, is obtained with voltage stabilizers, which carry short (methyl) side chains that are linked to the benzil core via an ester or tertiary amine group.