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Silica surface-modification for tailoring the charge trapping properties of PP/POE based dielectric nanocomposites for HVDC cable application

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87719-87734
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Access
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


This paper focuses on novel insulation polypropylene/poly(ethylene-co-octene) (PP/POE) nanocomposites for High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) cable application. The composites contain silica modified by a solvent-free method using silanes differing in polarity and functional moieties. Thermogravimetric Analysis and Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy showed that the solvent-free method is an effective way to modify silica by silanes. Silica/PP/POE nanocomposites were prepared in a mini twin-screw compounder, and the effect of silica on crystallization, dispersibility and dielectric properties of the samples was investigated. Differential Scanning Calorimetry results showed that the unmodified and modified silicas acted as nucleation agents and increased the onset of the crystallization temperature of the polymeric matrix. Scanning Electron Microscopy images showed that the silica is mostly located in the PP phase matrix. For the PP/POE nanocomposites filled with unpolar silica, a higher trap density (measured by Thermally Stimulated Depolarization Current, TSDC) was found; this might be caused by the larger interfacial area due to a better dispersion of the unpolar silica in the polymeric matrix. Polar silicas introduce deeper traps than the unpolar ones, which is most likely due to the hetero-atom introduction. Nitrogen atoms were found to have the strongest effect on the charge trapping properties. According to these results, amine-modified silica is a promising candidate for PP/POE nanocomposites for HVDC cable applications.

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