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Composite insulating materials are at least an order of magnitude more diverse and perhaps as much more complex in their behavior than simple one-component materials. This makes the preparation of a one-chapter summary of their electrical properties perhaps more difficult but, on second thought, somewhat simpler. This seeming contradiction can be explained as follows: the number of combinations of individual materials that have actually been used in composite insulation, and are not just possible to use, is so vast as to defy the compilation of their properties. Therefore, after considerable pondering of the task, the author has avoided that approach and is concentrating in this chapter on presenting an analytic discussion of the factors influencing the dielectric properties of composites and their performance as electrical insulation. The chapter will also include a summary discussion of the various types of composites, with representative data on their properties and characteristic behavior. We shall not delve into the molecular structure of the individual materials comprising the composites, as that aspect has already been extensively treated in Chapters 1, 2, and 6 of this volume. The testing methods that are uniquely appropriate to these materials and systems will be indicated.
Research and Development Center, Westinghouse Electric Corp., Pittsburgh, Pa.