ORIGINAL ARTICLES Optimization Of Electrospinning Parameters Using Response Surface Methods To Enhance Fiber Diameter, Mechanical Properties And Orientation Of Nanofibers

Bakar Abu, Sulong, Saniah Karim, Abu Sulong, Che Azhari, Teng Lee, Min Ng, Hwei
2012 Journal of Applied Sciences Research   unpublished
Electrospinning is a direct process that produces continuous fibers with nano-sized diameters and high specific surface area ratios. The process is capable of producing nano-sized fibers at a lower manufacturing cost compared with the conventional melt spinning process. In the present study, optimization of electrospinning parameters (supplied voltage, polymer concentration in solvents, and flow rate) was conducted through the response surface methodology (RSM) to reduce diameter size, enhance
more » ... eter size, enhance mechanical properties, and improve orientation (alignment) of the fibers. Polyacrilonitrile (PAN) dissolved in dimethylformamide (DMF) was used as a precursor. Fiber diameters and orientation were measured through Scanning Electron Microscope analysis. Tensile test on the fiber bundles was carried out using INSTRON Universal Tester. Fibers with diameters of ~150-350 nm were successfully collected. For diameter analysis, voltage is found to be the most significant parameter in determining fiber diameter. Flow rate of syringe pump is the non-significant factor. The optimum parameter combination is voltage of 15kV, weight percentage PAN of 10wt%, and flow rate of 4ml/hr. The fibers exhibited fine surfaces and were homogenous in terms of cylindricality. In tensile test analysis, voltage and weight percentage are found to be the most significant parameter in determining ultimate tensile load of fibers. The optimum parameter combination consists of voltage of 25 kV, weight percentage PAN of 10wt%, and flow rate of 6 ml/h. Approximately 60% of the fibers were oriented in the range of-30 o to +30 o from its principal axis. For orientation analysis, flow rate of syringe pump is found to be the most significant parameter in determining fiber alignment. The optimum parameter combination to gain aligned fiber is voltage of 15kV, weight percentage of 12wt%, and flow rate of 6ml/hr. Model equations were constructed for each analysis through Response Surface Methodology (RSM). RSM was successfully used to find collaborations between the parameters with the required outputs.
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