A Review of Two Nanocomposite Insulating Materials Models: Lewis’ Contribution in the Development of the Models, their Differences, their Similarities and Future Challenges

  • M. Danikas Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
  • Α. Bairaktari Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Democritus University of Thrace, Greece
  • R. Sarathi Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chennai, India
  • A. Basri Bin Abd Ghani TNB Research Sdn. Bhd., High Voltage Cable Diagnostics, Distribution Unit, Selangor, Malaysia


Nanocomposite polymers are nowadays a major field of research. This paper investigates the interpretational possibilities of two models developed, namely, Tsagaropoulos’ model and Tanaka’s model. Particular emphasis is given to Lewis’ model, which was the first one to be proposed and whose contribution to the aforementioned models was significant. The two models were developed separately and independently from each other. They both consider various layers around the nanoparticles. They both consider well bonded and more loosen layers. Similarities and differences between the two models are pointed out and discussed as well as possibilities for further research in order to shed light on some aspects of electrical phenomena in these materials. Particular emphasis is given to the interfaces between the nanoparticles and the surrounding base material. Comments are offered regarding the challenges facing the two models w.r.t. the interpretation of discharges on nanocomposite surfaces. Possible new areas of research are suggested and new challenges for the aforementioned models are pointed out.

Keywords: nanocomposites, nanoparticles, glass transition temperature, electrical trees, dielectric breakdown, breakdown strength, discharge path, surface discharge


Download data is not yet available.


T. J. Lewis, “Nanometric dielectrics”, IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul, Vol. 1, pp. 812-825, 1994 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/94.326653

M. Takala, H. Ranta, J. Pelto, S. Virtanen, V. Koivu, M. Petterson, K. Kannus, “Dielectric properties of polypropylene-silica nanocomposites”, Nordic Insul. Symp., pp. 31-35, Goeteborg, Sweden, June 15-17, 2009

S. Zhao, L. S. Schadler, H. Hillborg, T. Auletta, “Effect of interfacial strength on mechanichal properties of Al2O3/epoxy nanocomposites”, Nordic Insul. Symp., pp. 41-44, Cothenburg, Sweden, June 15-17, 2009

R. Kochetov, T. Andritsch, U. Lafont, P. H. F. Morshuis, J. J. Smit, “The thermal conductivity in epoxy – Aluminum nitride and epoxy – Aluminum oxide nanocomposite systems”, Nordic Insul. Symp., Goeteborg, pp. 27-30, Sweden, June 15-17, 2009

See for example the whole issue of IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul., Vol. 15, No. 1, February 2008 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TDEI.2008.4483485

J. K. Nelson (editor), Dielectric polymer nanocomposites, Eds. Springer, Heidelberg, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1591-7

M. F. Frechette, A. Vijh, M. L. Trudeau, L. Utracki, A. Sami, E. David, C. Laurent, P. Morshuis, T. Andritsch, R. Kochetov, A. Vaughan, J. Casteellon, D. Fabiani, S. Gubanski, J. Kindersberger, C. Reed, A. Krivda, J. Fothergill, S. Dodd, F. Guastavina, H. Alamdari, “Nanodielectrics: A panacea for solving all electrical insulation problems?”, 2010 Int. Conf. Solid Diel., pp. 130-158, Potsdam, Germany, July 4-9, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSD.2010.5568070

G. Tsagaropoulos, A. Eisenberg, “Dynamic mechanical study of the factors affecting the two glass transition behavior of filled polymers. Similarities and differences with random ionomers”, Macromolecules, Vol. 28, pp. 6067-6077, 1995 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/ma00122a011

T. Tanaka, “Dielectric nanocomposites with insulating properties”, IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul., Vol. 12, No. 5, pp. 914-928, 2005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TDEI.2005.1522186

T. Tanaka, “Polymer nanocomposites as HV insulation: Superiority and expectation’, Proc. XVth Int. Symp. High Volt. Eng., Ljubljana, Slovenia, August 27-31, 2007

M. G. Danikas, “On two nanocomposite models: Differences, similarities and interpretational possibilities regarding Tsagatopoulos’ model and Tanaka’ s model”, J. Electr. Eng., Vol. 61, No. 4, pp. 241-246, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10187-010-0034-3

D. Kind, H. Kaerner, High-voltage insulation technology, Eds. Fr. Vieweg & Sohn, Braunschweig/Wiesbaden, Deutschland, 1985

D. Koenig, Y. N. Rao, Teilentladungen in Betriebsmitteln der Energietechniek, Eds. Vde verlag gmbh, Berlin und Offenbach, Deutschland, 1993

M. Roy, J. K. Nelson, R. K. MacCrone, L. S. Schadler, C. W. Reed, R. Keefe, W. Zenger, “Polymer nanocomposite dielectrics – The role of the interface”, IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul., Vol. 12, No. 4, pp. 629-643, 2005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TDEI.2005.1511089

T. Tanaka, G. Montanari, R. Mulhaupt, “Polymer nanocomposites as dielectrics and electrical insulation – perspectives for processing technologies, material characterization and future applications”, IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul., Vol. 11, No. 5, pp. 763-784, 2004. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TDEI.2004.1349782

J. K. Nelson, Y. Hu, “Nanocomposite dielectrics – Properties and implications”, J. Phys. D: Appl. Phys., Vol. 38, pp. 213-222, 2005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/0022-3727/38/2/005

J. K. Nelson, J. C. Fothergill, “Internal charge behaviour of nanocomposites”, Nanotechnology, Vol. 15, No. 5, pp. 586-595, 2004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/0957-4484/15/5/032

J. K. Nelson, J. C. Fothergill, L. A. Dissado, W. Peasgood, “Towards an understanding of nanometric dielectrics”, Ann. Rep. Conf. Electr. Insul. Diel. Phen. (CEIDP), pp. 295-298, Mexico, Oct. 20-24, 2002

S. Das, N. Gupta, “Study of space charge characteristics in epoxy resin and its nanocomposites”, 2010 Int. Conf. Solid Diel. (ICSD), pp. 235-238, Potsdam, Germany, July 4-9, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSD.2010.5568066

T. Tanaka, “Buds for treeing in epoxy nanocomposites and their possible interaction with nanofillers”, 2010 Int. Conf. Solid Diel., pp. 159-162, Potsdam, Germany, July 4-9, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSD.2010.5568068

F. Guastavino, A. Dardano, S. Squarcia, P. Tiemblo, J. Guzman, N. Garcia, “LDPE nanocomposites: A study about breakdown strength and voltage endurance”, Proc. 2010 Int. Conf. Cond. Monit. Diagn. (CMD), pp. 503-506, Tokyo, Japan, September 6-11, 2010,

S. Raetzke, J. Kindersberger, “Role of interphase on the resistance to high-voltage arcing, on tracking and erosion of silicone/SiO2 nanocomposites”, IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul., Vol. 17, No. 2, pp. 607-614, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/TDEI.2010.5448118

S. Raetzke, J. Kindersberger, “Resistance to high voltage arcing and the resistance to trackning and erosion for silicone/SiO2 nanocomposites”, Proc. 16th Int. Symp. On High Volt. Eng., Paper F-10, South Africa, 2009

Chang-Hoon Lee, Jae-Hun Park, “The partial discharge resistance of epoxy-nano-and-micro composites”, Trans. Electr. Electron. Mater., Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 89-91, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4313/TEEM.2010.11.2.089

E. Bretsnajdrova, L. Svoboda, J. Zelenka, “Determination of particle shape and size distribution of model types of nanomaterials”, J. Electr. Eng., Vol. 61, No. 5, pp. 302-304, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10187-011-0046-z

D. Fabiani, G. C. Montanari, A. Krivda, L. E. Schmidt, R. Hollertz, “Epoxy based materials containing micro and nano sized fillers for improved electrical characteristics”, 2010 Int. Conf. Solid Diel., pp. 212-215, Potsdam, Germany, July 4-9, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSD.2010.5568089

A. Cavallini, D. Fabiani, G. C. Montanari, L. Testa, “Extraction of aging markers for nanstructured epoxy resin aged under surface discharges”, IEEE Electr. Insul. Conf, pp. 387-391, Montreal, Canada, 2009

A. Ersoy, H. R. Hiziroglu, “Electrical breakdown of polyurethane-based nanocomposites”, 2010 Int. Conf. Solid Diel., pp. 216-218, Potsdam, Germany, July 4-9, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSD.2010.5568090

A. Triolo, E. Lo Celso, F. Negroni, V. Arrighi, H. Qian, R. E. Lechner, A. Lechner, A. Desmedt, J. Pieper, B. Frick, R. Triolo, “QENS investigations of filled rubbers”, Appl. Phys. A: Mater. Sci. and Process., Vol. 74, pp. 490-492, 2002 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s003390201883

V. Arrighi, I. J. McEwen, H. Qian, M. B. Serrano Prieto, “The glass transition and interfacial layer in styrene-butadiene rubber containing silica nanofiller”, Polymer, Vol. 44, No. 20, pp. 6259-6266, 2003 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0032-3861(03)00667-0

S. Singha, M. J. Thomas, “Dielectric properties of epoxy nanocomposites”, IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul., Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 12-23, 2008 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/T-DEI.2008.4446732

L. A. Berglund, “Reology of polymer nanocomposites – Are there unique effects for exploitation?”, Annual Transactions of the Nordic Rheology Society, Vol. 14, 2006

P. M. Ajayan, L. S. Schadler, P. V. Braun, Nanocomposite Science and Technology, Eds. Wiley-VCH Verlag, Weinheim, Germany, 2003 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/3527602127

A. Bansal, H. Yang, C. Li, K. Cho, B. C. Benicewicz, S. K. Kumar, L. S. Schadler, “Quantitative equivalence between polymer nanocomposites and thin polymer films”, Nature Mater., Vol. 4, pp. 693-698, 2005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/nmat1447

V. M. Litvinov, H. M. Speiss, “H NMR study of molecular motions in polydimethylsiloxane and its mixtures with aerosols”, Makromol. Chem., Vol. 192, No. 12, pp. 3005-3019, 1991 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/macp.1991.021921216

J. B. Kerr, Y. B. Han, G. Liu, C. Reeder, J. Xie, X. Sun, ”Interfacial behavior of polymer electrolytes”, Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory, Paper LBNL-53141, 2003

N. Mnif, V. Massardier, T. Kallel, B. Elleuch, “New (PP/EPR)/nano-CaCO3 based formulations in the perspective of polymer recycling. Effect of nanoparticles properties and compatibilizers”, Polym. Advanced Technol., Vol. 21, No. 12, pp. 896-903, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/pat.1520

R. K. Goyal, A. N. Tiwari, Y. S. Negi, “Microhardness of PEEK/ceramic micro- and nanocomposites: Correlation with Halpin-Tsai model”, Mater. Sci. and Eng.: A, Vol. 491, pp. 230-236, 2008

F. W. Starr, T. B. Schroeder, S. C. Glotzer, “Effects of a nano-sized filler on the structure and dynamics of a simulated polymer melt and the relationship to ultra-thin films”, Physical Review E, Vol. 64, No. 2, pp. 021802-1 – 021802-5, 2001 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.64.021802

F. T. Fisher et al., “Spectral response and effective viscoelastic properties of MWNT-reinforced polycarbonate”, Adv. Composites Lett., Vol. 13, No. 2, pp. 105-111, 2004 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/096369350401300201

Q. Wang, G. Chen, A. S. Alghamdi, “Influence of nanofillers on electrical characteristics of epoxy resins insulation”, 2010 Int. Conf. Solid Diel., pp. 263-266, Potsdam, Germany, July 4-9, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSD.2010.5568061

Wei Pan, Handao Zou, “Characterization of PAN/ATO nanocomposites prepared by solution blending”, Bul. Mater. Sci., Vol. 31, No. 5, pp. 807-811, 2008 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12034-008-0128-8

M. C. Kuo, L. M. Tsai, J. C. Huang, M. Chen, “PEEK composites reinforced by nano-sized SiO2 and Al2 O3 particulates”, Mater. Chem. And Phys., Vol. 90, pp. 185-195, 2005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.matchemphys.2004.10.009

Y. T. Sung, C. K. Kum, H. S. Lee, N. S. Byon, H. G. Yoon, W. N. Kim, “Dynamic mechanical and morphological properties of polycarbonate/multi-walled carbon nanotube composites”, Polymer, Vol. 46, No. 15, pp. 5656-5661, 2005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2005.04.075

S. D. Burnside, E. P. Giannelis, “Nanostrusture and properties of polysiloxane-layered silicate nanocomposites”, J. Polym. Sci. Part B: Polym. Phys., Vol. 38, No. 12, pp. 1595-1604, 2000 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-0488(20000615)38:12<1595::AID-POLB40>3.0.CO;2-U

S. S. Samai, “Role of temperature and carbon nanotube reinforcement on epoxy based nanocomposites”, J. Miner. & Mater. Charact. & Eng., Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 25-36, 2009 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4236/jmmce.2009.81003

D. Pitsa, G. E. Vardakis, M. G. Danikas, “Effect of nanoparticles loading on electrical tree propagation in polymer nanocomposites”, Proc. 2011 Int. Symp. Electr. Insul. Mater. (ISEIM2011), Paper A3, pp. 9-11, Kyoto, Japan, September 6-10, 2011 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ISEIM.2011.6826263

D. Pitsa, M. G. Danikas, G. E. Vardakis, T. Tanaka, “Influence of homocharges and nanoparticles in electrical tree propagation under DC voltage application”, Archiv f. Elektr. (Electrical Engineering), Vol. 94, No. 2, pp. 81-88, 2012 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00202-011-0222-6

D. Pitsa, G. Vardakis, M. G. Danikas, M. Kozako, “Electrical treeing propagation in nanocomposites and the role of nanofillers: Simulation with the aid of Celluar Automata”, J. Electr. Eng., Vol. 61, No. 2, pp. 125-128, 2010. DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10187-010-0018-3

R. C. Smith, C. Liang, M. Landry, J. K. Nelson, L. S. Schadler, “The mechanism leading to the useful electrical properties of polymer nanodielectrics”, IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul., Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 187-196, 2008 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/T-DEI.2008.4446750

Y. Okazaki, M. Kozako, M. Hikita, T. Tanaka, “Effects of addition of nano-scale alumina and silica fillers on thermal conductivity and dielectric strength of epoxy/alumina microcomposites”, 2010 Int. Conf. Solid Diel., pp. 279-282, Potsdam, Germany, July 4-9, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSD.2010.5568057

I-B Jeong, J-S Kim, H-S Han, Y-S Lee, J-Y Lee, J-Y Shin, J-W Hong, “Influences of filler depending on electrical insulation properties of nano-composite”, Proc. 2010 Int. Conf. Cond. Monit. Diagn., pp. 910-913, Tokyo, Japan, September 6-11, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4313/TEEM.2010.11.6.261

T. Iizuka, T. Tanaka, “Effect of nano silica filler size on treeing breakdown lifetime of epoxy nanocomposites”, Proc. 9th Int. Conf. Prop. Appl. Diel. Mater., pp. 733-736, Harbin, China, July 19-23, 2009 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICPADM.2009.5252324

A. Hajiyannis, G. Chen, “Space charge formation in epoxy resin including various nanofillers”, 2008 Ann. Rep. Conf. Electr.Insul.Diel. Phen., pp. 714-717, Canada, October 26-29, 2008 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/CEIDP.2008.4772898

Chen Zou, J. G. Fothergill, S. W. Rowe, “The effect of water absorption on the dielectric properties of epoxy nanocomposites”, IEEE Trans. Diel. Electr. Insul., Vol. 15, No. 1, pp. 106-117, 2008 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/T-DEI.2008.4446741

C. Zou, M. Fu, J. G. Fothergill, S. W. Rowe, “The influence of water on dielectric behavior of silica-filled epoxy nano-composites and percolation phenomena”, 2007 Ann. Rep. Conf. Electr. Insul. Diel. Phen., Canada, October 14-17, 2007 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/CEIDP.2007.4451502

C. Zou, J. G. Fothergill, S. W. Rowe, “A ‘water shell’ model for the dielectric properties of hydrated silica filled epoxy nano-composites”, 2007 Ann. Rep. Conf. Electr. Insul. Diel. Phen., Canada, October 14-17, 2007 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSD.2007.4290834

M. F. Frechette, C. W. Reed, “The role of molecular dielectrics in shaping the interface of polymer nanodielectrics”, 2007 Ann. Rep. Conf. Electr. Insul. Phen., pp. 279-285, Canada, October 14-17, 2007 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/CEIDP.2007.4451618

J. C. Fothergill, “Ageing, space charge and nanodielectrics: Ten things we don’t know about dielectric”‘, 2007 Int. Cof. Solid Diel., pp. 1-10, Winchester, UK, July 8-13, 2007 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ICSD.2007.4290739

M. G. Danikas, T. Tanaka, “nanocomposites – A review of electrical treeing and breakdown”, IEEE Electr. Insul. Mag., Vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 19-25, 2009 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/MEI.2009.5191413

E. A. Cherney, “Nanodielectrics applications – Today and tomorrow”, IEEE Electr. Insul. Mag., Vol. 29, No. 6, pp. 59-65, 2013 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/MEI.2013.6648754

S. Alapati, M. Joy Thomas, “Electrical treeing in polymer nanocomposites”, The 15th National Power Systems Conference (NPSC), pp. 352-355, IIT Bombay, December 2008

M. Kozako, R. Kido, T. Imai, T. Ozaki, T. Shimizu, T. Tanaka, “Surface roughness change of epoxy/TiO2 nanocomposite due to partial discharges”, Proc. 2005 Int. Symp. Electr. Insul. Mater., pp. 661-664, Kitakyushu, Japan, June 5-9, 2005 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1109/ISEIM.2005.193456

S. C. Kechagia, M. G. Danikas, R. Sarathi, “Water droplets and breakdown phenomena on polymer nanocomposite surfaces under the influence of uniform electric fields”, Malaysian Polym. J., Vol. 8, No. 2, pp. 41-47, 2013

A. Bairaktari, M. G. Danikas, X. Zhao, Y. Cheng and Y. Zhang, “Behaviour of water droplets under the influence of a uniform electric field in nanocomposite samples of epoxy resin/TiO2”, Eng., Technol. Appl. Sci. Res., Vol. 3, No. 5, pp. 511-515, 2013. DOI: https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.373

R. K. Sahu, “Understanding the electrical, thermal and mechanical properties of epoxy nanocomposites”, Ph.D. Thesis, Indian Institute of Technology Madras, Department of Electrical Engineering, Chennai, India, 2007

R. Sarathi, M. G. Danikas, “Understanding the mechanical properties of epoxy nanocomposite insulating materials”, J. Electr. Eng., Vol. 60, No. 6, pp. 358-361, 2009


Abstract Views: 807
PDF Downloads: 189

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share

Most read articles by the same author(s)

<< < > >>