Copper-catalyzed oxidation caused by copper-rich impurities in cross-linked polyethylene cable insulation

  • Jianying LiEmail author
  • Huan Li
  • Fusheng Zhou
  • Shihang Wang
  • Jiankang Zhao
  • Benhong Ouyang


In this paper, the existence of copper-rich impurities in cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) cable insulation was evidenced by means of thermal-oxidative ageing. It was deduced by the results of DSC tests that copper-rich impurities can lead to decreased melting temperature and crystallinity of XLPE during the thermal-oxidative ageing process. Meanwhile, some cracks in branch-type originating from these impurities, which can be regarded as the generation of increased free volume, were observed by SEM. These results might be induced by enhanced chains scission and crystalline disruption due to copper-rich impurities. It was proposed that these impurities work as potential catalysts in oxidation reaction, resulting in accelerated inhomogeneous deterioration of XLPE. In addition, the Oxidative Induction Time (OIT) of XLPE was measured and it was found that copper-catalyzed oxidation reaction occurs only if the antioxidant in XLPE is nearly exhausted.


Ageing Time Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization Copper Conductor Dielectric Performance 
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This research is supported by the Natural Science Foundation of China (51221005 and 51177121).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this article.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianying Li
    • 1
    Email author
  • Huan Li
    • 1
  • Fusheng Zhou
    • 1
  • Shihang Wang
    • 1
  • Jiankang Zhao
    • 2
  • Benhong Ouyang
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power EquipmentXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.China Grid Electric Power Research InstituteWuhanChina

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