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Open AccessArticle

Experimental Characterization of Polymer Surfaces Subject to Corona Discharges in Controlled Atmospheres

1
Dipartimento di Chimica, Materiali e Ingegneria Chimica “Giulio Natta”, Politecnico di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Chimica, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20133 Milano, Italy
3
Ricerca sul Sistema Energetico (RSE S.p.A.), 20134 Milano, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Polymers 2019, 11(10), 1646; https://doi.org/10.3390/polym11101646
Received: 9 August 2019 / Revised: 24 September 2019 / Accepted: 8 October 2019 / Published: 10 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Polymeric Materials for Electrical Applications)
Polymeric dielectrics are employed extensively in the power transmission industry, thanks to their excellent properties; however, under normal operating conditions these materials tend to degrade and fail. In this study, samples of low-density polyethylene, polypropylene, polymethyl methacrylate, and polytetrafluorethylene were subjected to corona discharges under nitrogen and air atmospheres. The discharges introduced structural modifications over the polymer surface. From a chemical perspective, the alterations are analogous among the non-fluorinated polymers (i.e., polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP), and polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA)). A simulation of the corona discharge allowed the identification of highly reactive species in the proximity of the surface. The results are consistent with the degradation of insulating polymers in high-voltage applications due to internal partial discharges that ultimately lead to the breakdown of the material.
Keywords: partial discharges; low-temperature plasma; polymer surface degradation; chemical characterization; morphological characterization partial discharges; low-temperature plasma; polymer surface degradation; chemical characterization; morphological characterization
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MDPI and ACS Style

Leon-Garzon, A.R.; Dotelli, G.; Tommasini, M.; Bianchi, C.L.; Pirola, C.; Villa, A.; Lucotti, A.; Sacchi, B.; Barbieri, L. Experimental Characterization of Polymer Surfaces Subject to Corona Discharges in Controlled Atmospheres. Polymers 2019, 11, 1646.

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