Modeling of downstream heating in melt electrospinning of polymers
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© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. In this study, both modeling and experimental approaches are used to demonstrate that downstream volumetric heating of electrospun fibers during melt electrospinning can result in markedly decreased fiber diameters. Previous melt electrospinning techniques were limited to production of micron-sized fibers. This is because high viscosity and low electrical conductivity of the polymer melt coupled with rapid heat loss to the surroundings resulted in solidification of the jet before it had been significantly stretched by the electric field. In our study, we utilize a model for non-isothermal melt electrospinning in the presence of a volumetric heat source. Our simulation results demonstrate that downstream heating does reduce the fiber diameter, and is therefore a feasible approach for resolving the limitations of melt electrospinning. In addition, our model has also been used to capture the effect of the surrounding temperature, which affects the thinning of the fiber through surface rather than volumetric interactions. Finally, melt electrospinning experiments are utilized to validate the model predictions for downstream heating. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Polym. Sci., Part B: Polym. Phys. 2017, 55, 1393–1405.
author list (cited authors)
Mayadeo, N., Morikawa, K., Naraghi, M., & Green, M. J.