Polymer Engineering and Science, Vol.61, No.3, 793-801, 2021
Enhanced mandrel design for electrospinning aligned fiber mats from low volatility solvents
A cylindrical mandrel with axially aligned rods was designed and tested for the collection of electrospun fibers. Blended polyaniline/polyethylene oxide fibers were electrospun from a solution containing a nonvolatile solvent, m-cresol. Camphorsulfonic acid served as the primary dopant and m-cresol were used as the secondary dopant to enhance fiber conductivity. A smooth, rotating cylindrical mandrel collector failed to collect and align fibers and instead afforded a wet, sticky film. An eight-rod, rotating cylindrical mandrel resulted in a dry, aligned fiber mat composed of 7-10 mu m diameter fibers. Alignment was maintained for at least 18 h of continuous spinning and the resulting mat could be easily recovered from the mandrel. A simulation of the rotating system indicated that the efficient formation of dry, nonsticky, aligned fiber mat was facilitated by the high mass transfer coefficient associated with the use of corrugated rods. Experiments indicated that 6-10 rods were optimal avoiding sagging of the fibers at the low end and increased mas transfer resistance at the high end.
Keywords:aligned fibers;electrospinning;mandrel design;mass transfer coefficient;nonvolatile solvent