Use of Nonlinear Optics for Assessment of Cable Polymer Aging



Published Sep 5, 2021
Kaylee Rellaford Dallin Smith Alexander Farnsworth Shane Drake Hoon Lee James Patterson


Polymer jackets play an important protective role in distribution cabling by providing structure and resistance to moisture, heat, and exposure to harmful chemicals. Current methods of structural assessment, such as elongation at break (E-at-B), are inherently destructive. While other non-destructive methods such as indenter evaluation are available, they are not suitable for in-service use. We propose that second harmonic generation (SHG) could provide a non-destructive means of characterizing the aging of chlorosulfonated polyethylene (CSPE) cable jackets. SHG was used to study cables previously aged and characterized by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Comparative data between the SHG results and indenter modulus tests suggest that SHG can be used to qualitatively differentiate between minimally and significantly aged CSPE cable jackets. The results of this proof-of-concept study suggest additional work that could be done to better understand the mechanisms of the aging of CSPE cable jackets and how SHG could be used to monitor the aging process.

Abstract 268 | PDF Downloads 190



Nonlinear optics, Polymer aging, Nondestructive evaluation

Averett, S. C., Stanley, S. K., Hanson, J. J., Smith, S. J., & Patterson, J. E. (2018). Surface spectroscopic signatures of mechanical deformation in high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Applied Spectroscopy, 72(7), 1057-1068. doi:10.1177/0003702818757232
Boukezzi, L., Boubakeur, A., & Lallouani, M. (2007). Effect of artificial thermal aging on the crystallinity of XLPE insulation cables: X-ray study. 2007 Annual Report - Conference on Electrical Insulation and Dielectric Phenomena, 65-68.
Bunn, C. W. (1939). The crystal structure of long-chain normal paraffin hydrocarbons. The “shape” of the Electric Power Research Institute and U.S. Department of Energy. (2002). Training aids for visual/tactile inspection of electrical cables for detection of aging (Report No. 1001391). Retrieved from
Electric Power Research Institute and U.S. Department of Energy. (2005). Initial acceptance criteria concepts and data for assessing longevity of low-voltage cable insulations and jackets (Report No. 1008211). Retrieved from
Saito, Y., Nansai, S., & Kinoshita, S. (1972). Structural studies on polyurethane fibers. Polymer Journal, 3, 113-121.
Soldatov, D. V., Suwinska, K., Terekhova, I. S., & Manakov, A. Yu. (2008). Structural investigation of hydrate compounds of the tetraisoamylammonium of polyacrylate ion exchange resins. Journal of Structural Chemistry, 49, 712-718.
Sperling, L. H. (2001). Introduction to physical polymer science (3rd ed.). John Wiley and Sons Ltd.
USA Wire & Cable, Inc. (n.d.). Wire Knowledge.
Wang, Z., Ni, H., Bian, Y., Zhang, M., & Zhang, H. (2010). The preparation and thermodynamic behaviors of chlorosulfonated polyethylene. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 116(4), 2095-2100.
White, J. R. (2006). Polymer ageing: physics, chemistry or engineering? Time to reflect. Comptes Rendus Chimie, 9(11), 1396-1408.
Technical Papers