IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, 16(1), 17–23p. (2009) DOI:10.1109/TDEI.2009.4784547

The application of recurrence plot in DC tracking test of gamma-ray irradiated polycarbonate

B. X. Du, H. J. Liu

Irradiation effects on tracking resistance of polymer insulation materials should be investigated due to the increasing usage in radiation-prone environments. This paper presents a study on dc tracking resistance of gamma-ray irradiated polycarbonate mixed with polyethylene by use of IEC 60112 method. The samples were irradiated in air up to 100 kGy and 1000 kGy with a dosage rate of 10 kGy/h using a 60Co gamma source. Because the data of tracking resistance obtained from the tracking test has a wide variation, discharge current in the test is considered as a main factor to estimate the tracking resistance. A recurrence plot analysis of discharge current has been made to evaluate the tracking resistance more consistently. Obtained results showed that after gamma-ray irradiation, the tracking resistance was improved compared with that of the unirradiated sample. The tracking resistance showed an increasing tendency from 0 kGy to 100 kGy but a decreasing tendency from 100 kGy to 1000 kGy. There was a threshold value for the tracking resistance around 100 kGy, which was related to the reaction of cross-linking and degradation. The topological structures of the recurrence plots with the irradiated samples were different from that of the unirradiated one. There were bigger white space segments, which indicated that there were high amplitude transients in the discharge currents of unirradiated sample. The recurrence point density increased from 100 kGy to 1000 kGy, which suggested that the discharge process of the total dose at 1000 kGy was more intensive than that at 100 kGy. The irradiation effects on the tracking resistance can be visually identified by the recurrence plot.

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