The University of Southampton

PhD Student Wins Best Student Paper Award at the 2023 Centennial Celebration of the IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena

Published: 31 October 2023

A paper by Phichet Ketsamee, a PhD student at the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory, University of Southampton, under the supervision of Dr Thomas Andritsch, Prof. Alun Vaughan, and Dr Istebreq Saeedi received the Best Student Paper Award at the 2023 IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP).

The paper, entitled “Dielectric Permittivity and Breakdown Strength of Thermally Aged Polypropylene/Ultra-High Molecular Weight Polyethylene Nanocomposites,” was selected as one of the top five finalists for the Student Paper Award competition. It was presented in an Oral Session by Phichet Ketsamee on October 16th, 2023, as part of the Centennial edition (100 years) of the oldest conference, the IEEE Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena (CEIDP) in East Rutherford, NJ, USA.

This paper investigates the effects of thermo-oxidative ageing on polypropylene (PP) blended with ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE), both filled and unfilled with magnesium oxide (MgO) nanoparticles, focusing on structural changes, chemical modifications, and dielectric properties. The study demonstrates that the addition of MgO as a compatibiliser in PP/UHMWPE nanocomposites slows down the ageing process, as indicated by a mitigated impact on thermal stability, oxidation reactions, dielectric permittivity, and AC breakdown strength when compared to unfilled PP/UHMWPE blends. The findings demonstrate the potential of the nanocomposites as high-voltage insulation materials, emphasising the significance of thermal ageing effects in long-term performance evaluation.

The CEIDP conference was established within the Division of Engineering and Industrial Research, National Academy of Sciences – National Research Council in 1920 in nearby Manhattan, NY, and continues to provide opportunity for specialists from around the world to meet and exchange their expertise, annually, now under sponsorship from the IEEE Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society. The goal of this annual Conference is to bring together researchers in all disciplines from industry, universities, government, and other laboratories to discuss the latest results and developments in the area of electrical insulation and dielectric phenomena. The conference location is in the Americas. Original contributions are welcomed in theoretical and experimental aspects of dielectric, electronic, and electrostatic research on vacuum and gaseous media and on liquid and solid materials of organic and inorganic origins. The CEIDP is aimed at fostering free discussion of scientific and technical topics but conference participants are expected to avoid any commercialization of their research activities or research results.

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