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Crosslinked polyethylene (XLPE) remains the material of choice for modern high voltage extruded cables possessing good thermal stability and excellent electrical properties. However, increasing pressure to limit the environmental effects of human activity and to promote recycling has forced researchers to look to new materials to replace XLPE in the medium to long term. Recently, a number of propylene based systems have been developed through copolymerization with novel catalyst systems which may offer novel alternatives to polyethylene. Such systems offer higher operating temperatures together with potentially desirable thermal, electrical and mechanical properties. In this paper we report on a range of propylene based materials and assess their suitability for cable applications through the use of thermal, mechanical and electrical testing. We supplement these tests with morphological investigations.
Date of Conference: 9-12 June 2008