University of Leicester
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An experimental study of water tree inception and the factors affecting it.

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posted on 2015-11-19, 08:58 authored by Annabel. Eccles
Over the last ten years a consensus of the proposed mechanisms of water treeing has started to emerge. A brief review of the current state of understanding is presented as a composite theory which involves chemical, physical and electro-physical effects. This theory treats water tree growth as the movement of a hydrophilic-hydrophobic interface into the polymer. Water-filled microvoids are formed with chemically-stable hydrophilic inner surfaces connected by free-volume routes also converted to have a hydrophilic nature and weakened by chain scission. Solvated ions may travel through such routes by diffusion as the pathways open and close due to electro-kinenc effects. It is concluded from this review that there is very little data on the dynamics of water tree inception. Consequently results are presented which concentrate on the inception behaviour rather than the growth. At high-frequencies or for very long trees, field-assisted diffusion may dominate and the growth rate of long trees may accelerate. Such long trees may also shield smaller trees underneath them and slow their growth thereby producing a bimodal distribution of lengths.


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University of Leicester

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

Qualification name

  • PhD



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