Thursday, October 20, 2011: 10:45 AM
L100 B (Minneapolis Convention Center)
High voltage electric field and low production rate limit electro-spinning for industrial production of nanofibers. In this work, a new process -Gas Jet Fibers (GJF)- that uses a high speed jet of gas to produce nanofibers from a nozzle is presented. In operation, a continuous layer of fiber precursor is fed on a flat surface, whereby the material is stretched and fibers are launched by the action of the high speed air flow field of the jet. Fiber morphology, diameter, and length can be easily controlled by varying the jet conditions, nozzle geometry, and fiber precursor physical properties. The GJF process can be easily adjusted to produce mono and multi-component fibers with morphologies varying from side-by-side to coaxial. We demonstrated the utility of this process by producing a wide range of fibers from different polymer solutions including polyethylene oxide (PEO), polyvinyl acetate (PVAc), and gelatine. Fibers with mean diameter varying between 400 nm and 3 µm and lengths around a few millimeters were found. These fibers can find range of applications including in the production of scaffolds, reinforced fibers, encapsulated materials, and controlled drug delivery systems.