Chemical, physical and electrical properties of aged dodecylbenzene: thermal ageing of mixed isomers in air
Hosier, I.L., Vaughan, A.S., Sutton, S.J. and Davis, F.J. (2007) Chemical, physical and electrical properties of aged dodecylbenzene: thermal ageing of mixed isomers in air. IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation, 14 (5). pp. 1113-1124. ISSN 1070-9878
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A commercial dodecylbenzene (DDB) cable oil was aged at temperatures between 90 and 135 degrees C in air and was analyzed using various analytical techniques including optical and infra-red spectroscopy and dielectric analysis. On ageing, the oil darkened, significant oxidation features were found by infra-red spectroscopy and the acid number, water content and dielectric loss all increased. Ageing in the presence of paper or aluminum did not affect the ageing process, whereas ageing was significantly modified by the presence of copper. An absorption at 680 nm ("red absorbers") was detected by ultra-violet/visible spectroscopy followed by the production of an opaque precipitate. A reaction between copper and the acid generated on ageing is thought to produce copper carboxylates, and X-ray fluorescence confirmed that copper was indeed present in both the aged oil and the precipitate. Significantly, once red absorbers were detected, the dielectric loss increased to catastrophically high values and, therefore, the appearance of these compounds may serve as a useful diagnostic indicator. The development of acidity on ageing appears to be key in initiating the destructive copper conversion reaction and hence the control of oil acidity may be key to prolonging the life of DDB cable oils.