Breakdown in Liquids due to the presence of suspended particles

In commercial liquids, which are not pure, the presence of suspended foreign particles has a significant impact on the overall breakdown strength.

When an electric field is applied across such a commercial liquid, the suspended particles align themselves depending on their permittivities.  If the permittivity of the suspended particles is more than the liquid, eg. paper particles, the particle will experience a force towards the area of higher stress.

If the permittivity of the particle is lesser than that of the liquid, eg. gas bubbles, the particle will experience a force towards the area of lower stress.

This results in the particles aligning themselves in a region.  As they accumulate, they may bridge the two electrodes and cause a breakdown.


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