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Archive for October, 2010

Electrospinning

Electrospinning is a very easy method to produce nanofibers. All you need is a electric source, syringe, surface for collecting nanofibers. Using a pump you can feed the polymer you want to turn into fiber at a controllable rate. More than 200 polymers are proved to be suitable for electrospinning.

Here is a nice diagram from Wikipedia:

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Electrospinning_Diagram.jpg

Here are two good reviews of the subject:

Electrospinning of Nanofibers: Reinventing the Wheel?

A review on polymer nanofibers by electrospinning and their applications in nanocomposites

The problems of electrospinning

  • production rate is very low
  • we do not yet know full interactions of parameters. Most of the papers investigate the effect of only one parameter.
  • produced nanofibers are not uniform in terms of their diameter
  • formation of defected nanofibers with beads

Parameters

Solution

  • type of polymer
  • the conformation of polymer chain
  • concentration of polymer
  • elasticity
  • electrical conductivity
  • polarity
  • surface tension of the solvent

Operational

  • strength of applied electrical field
  • distance between the needle and collector
  • feeding rate
  • humidity, temperature, air velocity of the environment
  • hydrostatic pressure
  • collector composition and geometry
  • needle tip design

IE/OR applications

Some research groups used Design of Experiments to identify parameters of production

Regeneration of Bombyx mori silk by electrospinning. Part 2. Process optimization and empirical modeling using response surface methodology

Effects of electrospinning parameters on polyacrylonitrile nanofiber diameter: An investigation by response surface methodology

If you are aware of other IE/OR applications to electrospinning, please share them in comments!

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