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The effects of an antioxidant additive on polymer morphology and space charge formation have been investigated, as a function of temperature, in melt-quenched films of low-density polyethylene. On quenching, the additive-free polymer crystallizes to give extensive spherulitic structures; similar objects are not seen in the system containing the antioxidant. The pulsed electro-acoustic method was then used dynamically to follow both the formation of space charge at high voltage and its subsequent decay under short circuit conditions in both material systems. Data were obtained at room temperature, 50 and 70°C. Comparing the additive free material with identical polymer containing a standard anti-oxidant package indicates that the addition of the antioxidant markedly changes both space charge formation and decay processes. At room temperature, both materials were found to behave similarly, suggesting that the changes in gross morphology described above are of secondary importance. At higher temperatures, the addition of the antioxidant enhances negative charge accumulation in the material, implying its association with relatively deep traps for the negative charges within the bulk.
Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:10 , Issue: 1 )
Date of Publication: Feb. 2003