275460 Tailoring Nanofibers Produced From Gas Jet Process

Monday, October 29, 2012
Hall B (Convention Center )
Rafael E. Benavides, Polymer Engineering, The University of Akron, Akron, OH, Sadhan C. Jana, Department of Polymer Engineering, University of Akron, Akron, OH and Darrell H. Reneker, Department of Polymer Science, The University of Akron, Akron, OH

Nanofiber mats present exceptional properties thanks to their low density, high surface areas per unit volume, and tight pore-size distribution. These properties combined with the intrinsic properties of polymers such as biodegradability, crystallinity, and hydrophobicity make them excellent candidates for medical and industrial applications such as scaffolds for cell growth, wound dressing for skin regeneration, filtration beds, and fabrication of protective clothes. A good part of the research in production of nanofibers has been focused on the electrospinning process.  However, applications that require quantitative amounts of these materials are limited due to the low production rate per electrospinning jet. Here, a pneumatically driven alternative with production rates 10 to 20 times higher than a single electrospinning jet is presented. The process capitalizes on a high velocity expanding jet of gas to turn polymer solutions streaming from nozzles into fibers. Fiber diameter, morphology, and geometry can be easily tailored to target specific applications. Several examples including single and bi-component fibers are presented.

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