This specialized centre is equipped with advanced facilities for developing high-performance polymer compounds based on synthetic elastomers, plastics, polymer blends, alloys, and composites.
We test for the following:
- Mechanical properties
- Electrical properties
- Weather and ageing resistance
- Fire Resistance properties
- Hydrophobicity of polymer compounds
With the globally growing interest in composite insulators more prominent than ever before, our team aims to continuously develop technology to manufacture advanced material for high-performance applications using both nanotechnology and polymer composite science.
The proof is in the quality. Inquire or order today.
Materials such as silicone rubber offer superior weather resistance to traditional glass and ceramic materials for high voltage insulators on account of the prolonged hydrophobicity of the polymers. Since water is distributed on the surface of hydrophobic materials in the form of droplets, the electrical resistivity remains high, and minimal leakage current is measured. Through collaboration with its research partners, ASAsoft has carried out weathering studies under different chemical environments mimicking salt and other de-icing agents. A critical aspect of the material performance is characterizing the surface hydrophobicity under electrical stress. Results of corona polling studies in the literature have revealed that the hydrophobicity of both classes of materials is significantly decreased after a short exposure to high voltage, and damage extended to the bulk in the form of cracking. Maintaining the surface hydrophobicity is the first preventative measure in minimizing such effects. Surface characterization is an important aspect of the evaluation of silicone polymer insulators.
ASAsoft’s engagement in R&D pursues structurally-rich surface-specific vibrational spectroscopy under applied electric stress in order to investigate and further optimize the use of polymer composite materials for powerline insulator applications.
Using our image analysis platform (see ’technology’) and surface-sensitive spectroscopy we have compared fresh polymer substrates with those that have been soaked in water and saline solutions for 1 month.
We have found that both freshwater algae and seawater species could withstand considerably less drag force and were therefore more easily removed when the polymer was soaked in salt water. The polymer surfaces however were found to be unaltered in terms of its roughness, contact angle, and lack of water uptake. No standard surface characterization method was therefore able to account for the differences in cell adhesion strength resulting from the soaking treatment. Surface-specific nonlinear vibrational spectroscopy, however, revealed subtle differences in the orientation of surface methyl groups that resulted from the water and saline exposure. Our findings have revealed that, for the freshwater alga, long-term exposure to salt (such as in winter conditions near roads where deicing agents are used) reduces algae adhesion, especially at low drag forces. The low-shear regime is the one encountered in typical environmental conditions, such as wind and rain shear.