Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

David Icove

Committee Members

Benjamin J. Blalock, James E. Lyne, Aly Fathy


It is well known that prolonged low-level radiation compromises the flame spread ratings of insulated electrical cables, particularly those used in nuclear power plants, fuel production, and research facilities. This dissertation addresses the effects that thermal aging and irradiation have on the flammability characteristics of cable jackets (insulation around the conductor). It also seeks to develop a passive method to predict flame spread ratings for these aging cables. Changes in the inductive and capacitive reactance can alter the resonant frequency of the cable. These changes in reactance can be quantified as the cable is irradiated or thermally aged. Various testing methods are used to quantify the flammability characteristics of the cables. These tests are used to develop a complete understanding of how the irradiation or thermal aging impact the jacket and conductor of the cable.

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