Evaluation of a Thermochromic Liquid Crystal for Use as a Temperature Sensor for Components of Electrical Systems

Connectors used in electrical power distribution systems should allow the passage of electricity continuously and without interruption. However, this does not always occur due to failure caused by improper assembly and/or corrosion of the materials employed, which reflects the quality of service. Notable among the new detection technologies that have been studied to facilitate the identification of defects is the use of thermochromic materials, which allow the easy identification of "hot spots", without the need for specialized equipment and personnel. In this context, in this study, the performance of a thermochromic liquid crystal was evaluated with the aim of developing a temperature sensor for connectors used in electrical power distribution networks. For the evaluation of the performance, thermal and ultraviolet radiation degradation tests were conducted, as well as analysis using spectroscopic (FTIR, FTIR-HATR, UV-Vis, 1H NMR) and thermal (DSC, PLM) techniques. The results indicated that the liquid crystal and the associated components showed no degradation under the test conditions, as well as a good color stability was observed, verifying the viability of the use of these materials for the construction of a temperature sensor. A field test was performed with the devices and was effective for the suggested application.