The present review article represents a comprehensive study on polymer micro/nanocomposites that are used in high-voltage applications. Particular focus is on the structure-property relationship of composite materials used in power engineering, by exploiting fundamental theory as well as numerical/analytical models and the influence of material design on electrical, mechanical and thermal properties. In addition to describing the scientific development of micro/nanocomposites electrical features desired in power engineering, the study is mainly focused on the electrical properties of insulating materials, particularly cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) and epoxy resins, unfilled and filled with different types of filler. Polymer micro/nanocomposites based on XLPE and epoxy resins are usually used as insulating systems for high-voltage applications, such as: cables, generators, motors, cast resin dry-type transformers, etc.
Furthermore, this paper includes ample discussions regarding the advantages and disadvantages resulting in the electrical, mechanical and thermal properties by the addition of micro- and nanofillers into the base polymer. The study goals are to determine the impact of filler size, type and distribution of the particles into the polymer matrix on the electrical, mechanical and thermal properties of the polymer micro/nanocomposites compared to the neat polymer and traditionally materials used as insulation systems in high-voltage engineering. Properties such as electrical conductivity, relative permittivity, dielectric losses, partial discharges, erosion resistance, space charge behavior, electric breakdown, tracking and electrical tree resistance, thermal conductivity, tensile strength and modulus, elongation at break of micro- and nanocomposites based on epoxy resin and XLPE are analyzed. Finally, it was concluded that the use of polymer micro/nanocomposites in electrical engineering is very promising and further research work must be accomplished in order to diversify the polymer composites matrices and to improve their properties.
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