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It has been known that the electrical breakdown of insulating materials is strongly affected by the formation of space charge in the bulk of the materials. Many researchers have attempted to study the relationship between the space charge and the breakdown; however, it has not been clarified yet. Although the pulsed electroacoustic (PEA) method has been widely used to observe space charge profiles, previous works have not shown clear evidence of the influence of the space charge on the breakdown. Therefore, we have developed a new PEA system with an interval of 0.5 ms to observe the space charge distribution continuously under the ultra-high electric field. Using this system, we observed the space charge dynamics in the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) at and around the breakdown. We also investigated the dependence of the applied electric field on space charge behavior. From the results, it is found that the injected charge packet moved faster and deeper under a relatively lower electric field rather than that under a higher electric field. Furthermore, we found that the maximum electric field in each specimen was almost the same when the breakdown happened in a specimen.
Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:12 , Issue: 3 )
Date of Publication: June 2005