This paper presents the results of a study on the effect of alumina nano-fillers on electrical tree growth in epoxy insulation. Treeing experiments were conducted at a fixed ac voltage of 15 kV, 50 Hz on unfilled epoxy samples as well as epoxy nanocomposites with different loadings of alumina nano-fillers. Time for tree inception as well as tree growth patterns were studied. The results show that there is a significant improvement in tree initiation time with the increase in nano-filler loading. Different tree growth patterns as well as slower tree growth with increasing filler loadings were observed in epoxy nanocomposites. The nature of the tree channel and the elemental composition of the material on the inner lining of the tree channels have been studied using SEM imaging and EDAX analysis respectively of the cut section of the tree channels. It has been shown that the type of bonding at the interface has an influence on the electrical tree growth pattern. The nature of the bonding at the interface between the epoxy and the nano-filler has been studied using FTIR spectrometry. Finally the influence of the interface on tree growth phenomena in nanocomposites has been explained by a physical model.
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