3D XCT Imaging of Electrical Tree Growth in Epoxy Resin

Zepeng Lv, Siyuan Chen, Simon Rowland, James Carr, Timothy Burnett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper reports observations of electrical tree growth by X-ray computed tomography (XCT) in multiple steps. Growth between times of observation has been obtained by subtraction of an image from the subsequent one. Partial discharge (PD) signals were also recorded during tree growth. It is determined that not all PDs support tree extension. By comparing the energy released by PD and the vaporization energy of newly grown tree channels, it is found that only the PDs that reach the tree tips can contribute to the growth of tree length. In such cases, the efficiency of energy conversion was very high, whereas PD resulting in increases in tree channel diameter had a much lower conversion efficiency. Nano XCT images reveal many finer branches along the trunk of the main tree and in the front of the main channel tree tips. It seems that those finer branches led to tree growth, but were not directly associated with local PD. The new imaging techniques have shown great value in resolving the relationship between partial discharge activity and electrical tree growth, providing a platform for deeper understanding of the tree growth process, and interpretation of partial discharge measurements.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 20 Dec 2019


  • treeing
  • partial discharge (PD)
  • energy dissipation
  • 3D XCT
  • electrical ageing


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