Terahertz Time-Domain Spectroscopy Characterization of Aged XLPE Cable Insulation

  • Yuanyuan Zhang
  • Ze Lian
  • Jianying Li
  • Shengtao LiEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering book series (LNEE, volume 598)


Cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) has been widely used in high voltage power cables as insulation material due to its superior mechanical and electrical performance. Thermal aging causes irreversible chemical and morphological change that may strongly reduce the dielectric strength of XLPE, producing a limitation to the effective service life of the power cables. Therefore, it is worthwhile to monitor the aging condition of XLPE insulation so that the safety of the power system can be ensured. Terahertz technology has attracted much attention because many molecular structure information is involved in terahertz frequency. In this paper, terahertz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) was employed to study the effect of thermal aging on XLPE power cable insulation. XLPE sheets were aged at 130 °C for different periods in an air forced oven. The pristine and aged samples were studied by differential scanning calorimeter (DSC) and the crystallinity were determined. The extent of oxidation of the insulations were assessed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy. Our experimental results show that the index of refraction and relative dielectric constant in the frequency range from 0.5–2 THz increase with aging time. The aged samples show an increase in oxidation products and a decrease in the crystallinity, which indicates the molecular chain scission and oxidation. This result suggests that THz-TDS has potential to obtain information about the cable insulation condition.


XLPE cable insulation Thermal aging Condition assessment Terahertz time-domain spectroscopy 


  1. 1.
    Li, W., Li, J., Yin, G., Li, S., Zhao, J., Ouyang, B., Ohki, Y.: Frequency dependence of breakdown performance of XLPE with different artificial defects. IEEE TDEI 4(19), 1351–1359 (2012)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Boukezzi, L., Boubakeur, A., Lallouani, M.: Effect of artificial thermal aging on the crystallinity of XLPE insulation cables: X-ray study. In: Conference on Electrical Insulation & Dielectric Phenomena, pp. 65–68. IEEE, Canada (2007)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Linde, E., Verardi, L., Fabiani, D., Gedde, U.W.: Dielectric spectroscopy as a condition monitoring technique for cable insulation based on crosslinked polyethylene. Polym. Test. 44, 135–142 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ferguson, B., Zhang, X.: Materials for terahertz science and technology. Nat. Mater. 1(1), 26–33 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Li, M., Tong, M., Flecher, J., Dong, Z.: A novel approach to investigate the deterioration of insulation of oils in power transformers with terahertz time-domain spectroscopy. IEEE TDEI 2(24), 930–938 (2017)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Yan, Z., Shi, W., Hou, L., Xu, M., Yang, L., Dong, C., Li, S.: Investigation of aging effects in cross-linked polyethylene insulated cable using terahertz waves. Mater. Res. Express 1(4), 015304 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Komatsu, M., Ohki, Y., Mizuno, M., Fukunaga, K.: Terahertz spectroscopic observation of cross-linked polyethylene aged simultaneously by heat and gamma-rays. In: 10th International Conference on the Properties and Applications of Dielectric Materials. IEEE, India (2012)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Withayachumnankul, W., Naftaly, M.: Fundamentals of measurement in terahertz time-domain spectroscopy. J. Infrared Millim. Terahertz 8(35), 610–637 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Liu, X., Yu, Q., Liu, M., Li, Y., Zhong, L., Fu, M., Hou, S.: DC electrical breakdown dependence on the radial position of specimens within HVDc XLPE cable insulation. IEEE TDEI 3(24), 1476–1484 (2017)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Xu, Y., Luo, P., Xu, M., Sun, T.: Investigation on insulation material morphological structure of 110 and 220 kV XLPE retired cables for reusing. IEEE TDEI 4(21), 1687–1696 (2014)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gulmine, J., Akcelrud, L.: FTIR characterization of aged XLPE. Polym. Test. 7(25), 932–942 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pearce, E.: Polymers: chemistry and physics of modern materials. J. Polym. Sci. Pol. Chem. 8(30), 1777 (1992)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuanyuan Zhang
    • 1
  • Ze Lian
    • 1
  • Jianying Li
    • 1
  • Shengtao Li
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Electrical Insulation and Power EquipmentXi’an Jiaotong UniversityXi’anChina

Personalised recommendations