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Erosion resistance of electrospun silicone rubber nanocomposites

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3 Author(s)
Shanshan Bian ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada ; Jayaram, S. ; Cherney, E.A.

This paper presents the results of an examination of the erosion resistance of two-part room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) silicone rubber (SiR) nanocomposites. The SiR composites were filled with 7 nm size fumed silica and 1.5 μm size micro-silica. Separate samples were prepared using conventional mechanical mixing and an electrospinning technique, and their erosion resistances were compared. The electrospinning technique allows for a higher volume fraction of nanofiller and micro-filler in the composites as compared to the conventional samples. The erosion resistances were tested using both an infrared-laser-based source and the ASTM D2303 standard inclined plane tracking and erosion method (IPT). The experimental results for the eroded mass, tracking voltage, and tracking time show that the erosion resistances of electrospun samples are much greater than those of conventional samples. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images and variable tracking patterns of the conventional samples after the IPT tests suggest an improvement in the dispersion of the fillers within the electrospun samples compared to the conventional samples. Power analysis during the IPT tests also shows that more power is required to track and erode electrospun samples before sample failure occurs than is needed for conventional samples, which suggests improved bonding between the fillers and the silicone rubber matrix. These findings also are supported by the results of thermo-gravimetric analysis.

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Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:20 ,  Issue: 1 )