Partial discharge (PD) resistance was examined by applying a constant voltage for four kinds of biodegradable polymers, i.e. poly-L-lactic acid (PLLA), polyethylene terephthalate succinate (PETS), poly ε-caprolactone butylene succinate (PCL-BS), and polybutylene succinate (PBS), and the results were compared with those of low density polyethylene (LDPE) and crosslinked low density polyethylene (XLPE). The PD resistance is determined by the erosion depth and the surface roughness caused by PDs, and is ranked as LDPE ≅ XLPE > PLLA ≅ PETS > PBS > PCL-BS. This means that the sample with a lower permittivity has better PD resistance. Furthermore, observations of the sample surface by a polarization microscope and a laser confocal one reveal that crystalline regions with spherulites are more resistant to PDs than amorphous regions. Therefore, good PD resistance can be achieved by the sample with a high crystallinity and a low permittivity.
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