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Performance of silicone rubber in DC inclined plane tracking tests

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3 Author(s)
Bruce, G.P. ; Sch. of Electr. & Electron. Eng., Univ. of Manchester, Manchester, UK ; Rowland, S.M. ; Krivda, A.

The inclined plane tracking and erosion test IEC-60587 is not specified for DC testing. A dc test has been developed from the current ac standard and three formulations of silicone rubber tested. These materials were tested under three voltage levels (2.3, 2.7 and 3.2 kV) for both polarities. Positive dc tests have the highest average and peak leakage current and exhibit a higher degree of surface damage. The observed surface degradation pattern is heavily dependant on polarity. Consistently higher levels of erosion have been observed in the higher voltage positive cases. Erosion of the surface always starts at the bottom electrode, and spreads toward the top electrode. Puncturing of the 6 mm thick samples or deep erosion over more than half the distance between electrodes has only been observed under 2.7 and 3.2 kV positive polarity tests. Results have been analysed using a variety of leakage current analysis techniques going beyond the criteria specified in the original ac standard. The low-frequency behaviour of the leakage current was monitored using a 15 sample per second current recorder. The leakage current magnitude is investigated in a case study and is shown to follow a normal distribution. Reversing the polarity of tests shows the leakage current seen in a test is largely independent of the surface degradation pattern present, but the surface degradation pattern over the first three hours may dictate the morphology of ensuing deep erosion.

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Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 2 )