Polyimide (PI) can be used as a cladding insulation for high frequency power transformers, and along-side discharge can lead to insulation failure, so material modification techniques are used. In this paper, different doped nano-SiO2
are introduced into polyimide for nanocomposite modification. The results of testing the life time of high-frequency electrical stress along-side discharge show that the 10% SiO2
doping has the longest life time. The results show that: for composites prone to corona, their flashover causes more damage, and both positive half-cycle and polarity reversal discharges are more violent; compared to pure PI, the positive half-cycle and overall discharge amplitude and number of modified films are smaller, but the negative half-cycle is larger; at creeping development stages, the number of discharges is smaller, and the discharge amplitude of both films fluctuates in the mid-term, with the modified films having fewer discharges and the PI films discharging more violently in the later stages. The increase in the intensity of the discharge was greater in the later stages, and the amplitude and number of discharges were much higher than those of the modified film, which led to a rapid breakdown of the pure polyimide film. Further research found that resistivity plays an important role in the structural properties of the material in the middle and late stages, light energy absorption in the modified film plays an important role, the distribution of traps also affects the discharge process, and in the late stages of the discharge, the heating of the material itself has a greater impact on the breakdown, so the pure polyimide film as a whole discharges more severely and has the shortest life.
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