Insulating MgO–Al2O3–LDPE Nanocomposites for Offshore Medium-Voltage DC Cables

Ranjeetkumar Gupta, Lindsay Smith, James Njuguna, Alan Deighton, Ketan Pancholi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
78 Downloads (Pure)


A polymer–metal oxide nanocomposite is a key in developing a high-temperature insulation material for power electronics and high-voltage direct current (HVDC) and medium-voltage direct current (MVDC) subsea cables having the capability of transmitting offshore renewable energy with lower losses and higher reliability. To achieve a higher operation voltage level and larger power capacity at a reduced cable size, weight, and volume, the lighter material offering improved electrical insulation at a high operating temperature is required. Addition of metal oxide ceramics in the polymer is shown to improve the insulating properties of the polymer used in the cable and power electronic applications; however, their performance deteriorates at elevated temperatures as thermal energy facilitates the electron injection to the bulk material by following conduction according to the Schottky emission. In this work, the heat insulating Al2O3 nanoparticles are added to the MgO–polyethylene nanocomposite to observe the effect of the interface between mix oxide nanoparticles on current density and breakdown strength of the nanocomposite compared to the MgO–polyethylene nanocomposite at room and elevated temperatures (90 °C). The concentrations of the MgO and MgO + Al2O3 mixture were varied from 1 to 12 wt % to find out that the nanocomposite containing MgO showed the best response than MgO + Al2O3 at elevated and room temperatures. There was no unified trend observed in the leakage current density and breakdown strength results for the MgO + Al2O3 nanocomposite, indicating the absence of the interface formation between MgO and Al2O3. The decrease in the interaction radius, calculated using numerical simulation of the nanoparticle dispersion state, resulted in the high breakdown strength. Addition of 12 wt % MgO helped achieving the highest breakdown strength, but overall breakdown strength for the MgO + Al2O3 nanocomposite improved at elevated temperatures. All nanocomposites showed improved electrical insulating properties compared to virgin low-density polyethylene (Pure LDPE) .
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1880-1891
Number of pages12
JournalACS Applied Electronic Materials
Issue number7
Early online date3 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - 28 Jul 2020


  • HVDC insulation
  • LDPE dielectric composite
  • breakdown strength
  • extrusion
  • interface
  • oxide nanoparticles
  • thermal conductivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Materials Chemistry
  • Electrochemistry


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