A Novel Approach for Melt Electrospinning of Polymer Fibers

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Polymer fibers with diameter below a few microns, due to aspects such as high surface area to volume ratio and specific strength, find applications in wound healing, drug delivery, and structural composites, just to list a few. Typical polymer nanofiber fabrication is carried out via a solution electrospinning. This method fabricates polymer fiber from a solution of the polymer in a solvent, which mostly evaporates during the fabrication process. However, this residual solvent can be very unattractive for industrial scale-up due to solvent toxicity among other things. In this study, we have presented a novel melt electrospinning method, in which a Joule heated wire that is coated with the polymer of choice is used as the polymer source to fabricate the fibers. We have compared the fiber diameters obtained from our method to those obtained by existing melt electrospinning methods. Through the use of a wire rather than traditional syringe melt electrospinning, we were able to reduce the fiber diameter by over 75%. We have explained the generation of thin fibers (a few microns in diameter) in terms of variations of the electrostatic fields around the wire tip, which controls the size and shape of the melt electrospun jet.

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Morikawa, K., Green, M., & Naraghi, M. (2018). A Novel Approach for Melt Electrospinning of Polymer Fibers. In Procedia Manufacturing (Vol. 26, pp. 205–208). Elsevier B.V. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.promfg.2018.07.028

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