Aging assessment of polyethylene-based insulated low-voltage cables for nuclear applications

Suraci, Simone Vincenzo (2020) Aging assessment of polyethylene-based insulated low-voltage cables for nuclear applications, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Ingegneria biomedica, elettrica e dei sistemi, 33 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/9551.
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This thesis aims at investigating the evolution of physico-chemical and electrical properties relevant to low-voltage power cables for nuclear application when subjected to typical nuclear power plant (NPP) environments i.e., to gamma radiation and high temperature. This research is part of the European Project Horizon 2020 TeaM Cables, which aims at providing a novel methodology for efficient and reliable NPP cable aging management to NPP operators. The analyzed samples consist of both coaxial and twisted pair cables with different polymeric compounds used as primary insulation. Insulating materials are based on the same silane cross-linked polyethylene matrix with different additives and fillers. In order to characterize the material response to the environmental stresses, various experimental techniques have been used. These characterizations range from the microscale chemical response e.g. by FTIR, OIT and DSC, to the macroscale electrical and mechanical behavior. A significant part of this Thesis is given to the correlation of the response to aging among the different measured properties. It has been shown that it could be possible to connect both the chemical and mechanical properties of the investigated XLPE cables with the electrical ones. In particular, the high-frequency dielectric response allows an effective monitoring of both the early periods of aging, controlled by the antioxidant consumption kinetics, and then the subsequent oxidation of the polymer matrix. Therefore, dielectric spectroscopy showed to be capable of assessing the LV cable aging state and, it might be used as an aging marker for cable diagnostic. The last part of the manuscript focuses on the building of a predictive modelling approach of LV cable conditions subjected to radio-chemical aging. It resulted into obtaining a lifetime curve which relates the aging factor to which the cable is subjected to, namely the dose rate, with the limit value of the considered electrical property (tanδ).

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Suraci, Simone Vincenzo
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
polymer, polymer aging, nuclear power plant, low voltage cables, cables, radiation aging, thermal aging, dielectric spectroscopy, tensile stress,physical-chemical characterization of polymers, electrical tests, modelling of electrical properties, non destructive technique, cable diagnostics
Data di discussione
17 Dicembre 2020

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