Formation and Characterization of Electrospun Nonwoven Webs

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Title: Formation and Characterization of Electrospun Nonwoven Webs
Author: Mohan, Abhay
Advisors: Dr. Jason A. Osborne, Committee Member
Dr. Tushar K. Ghosh, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Abdelfattah M. Seyam, Committee Co-Chair
Abstract: It is known that not all polymers can be melted and extruded to form polymer fibers. Electrospinning process involves a direct method to produce fibers in nanometer range by dissolving the polymer in solvent(s) to form the spinning solution. In this work, the spinning solution was prepared by dissolving Poly (ethylene terephthalate) polymer in triflouroacetic acid and methylene chloride. Charging the solution to a very high potential initiated the process to produce electrospun fibers. With increasing voltage, a critical point is reached and a charged jet of the solution is ejected. As this charged jet moves in the air, the solvent evaporates, leaving behind a charged polymer fiber that collects on a targeted source (rotating drum). Equipment to form electrospun fiberwebs on a rotating drum was designed and successfully built. The equipment for this process is relatively simple and small since this process lend itself to the production of fibers/fiberwebs from small quantity of polymer solution. An experiment was designed to investigate the influence of polymer concentration in the spinning solution and the electric field level on fiber and fiberweb response of interest. Electrospun fibers and fiberwebs were characterized for fiber diameter and its distribution, orientation distribution function, and pore size and its distribution. The results showed that an increase in the electric field resulted in a decrease of the average diameter of the electrospun fibers. It has also been observed that there was concentration/electric field interaction effect on fiber diameter. As the electric field increased keeping polymeric concentration constant, the fibers orientation in machine direction increased. It was observed that as the electric field was increased, the average pore diameter decreased. The decrease in average pore size with increase in electric field was explained in terms of fiber diameter as well as fiberweb structural parameters (orientation and basis weight).
Date: 2003-02-06
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textile Technology Management

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