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The Influence of Water on Dielectric Behavior of Silica-filled Epoxy Nano-composites and Percolation Phenomenon

Zou, C., Fu, M., Fothergill, J. & Rowe, S. (2007). The Influence of Water on Dielectric Behavior of Silica-filled Epoxy Nano-composites and Percolation Phenomenon. Paper presented at the Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, 14 - 17 October 2007, Vancouver, Canada. doi: 10.1109/CEIDP.2007.4451502


The dielectric properties of epoxy resin were studied as a function of hydration by dielectric spectroscopy. The dielectric spectroscopy measurements show different conduction and quasi-DC behaviors at very low frequencies (<10-2 Hz) with activation energies dependent on the hydration. These observations lead to the development of a model in which a “water shell” is formed around the nano-particles. The multiple shell model, originally proposed by Lewis and developed by Tanaka, has been further developed to explain low frequency dielectric spectroscopy results in which percolation of charge carriers through overlapping water shells was shown to occur. At 100% relative humidity, water is believed to surround the nanoparticles to a depth of approximately 10 monolayers as the first layer. A second layer of water is proposed that is dispersed by sufficiently concentrated to be conductive. If all the water had existed in a single layer surrounding a nanoparticle, this layer would have been approximately 5 nm thick at 100% RH. Filler particles that have surfaces that are functionalized to be hydrophobic considerably reduce the amount of water absorbed in nanocomposites under the same conditions of humidity. PEA results show that the wetted epoxy specimens have a higher threshold field of space charge accumulation than such dry specimens since water enhances charge decay.

Publication Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: This is the author's final draft of the paper published as IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, 2007 - Annual Report, pp. 372-375. Copyright © 2007 IEEE. The final version is available from Doi: 10.1109/CEIDP.2007.4451502. This material is posted here with permission of the IEEE. Internal or personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution must be obtained from the IEEE by writing to
Subjects: T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: Presidents's Portfolio
School of Science & Technology > Engineering
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