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Characterization and properties of electrospun thermoplastic polyurethane blend fibers: Effect of solution rheological properties on fiber formation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 May 2013

Hao-Yang Mi
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706; and National Engineering Research Center of Novel Equipment for Polymer Processing, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, China
Xin Jing
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706; and National Engineering Research Center of Novel Equipment for Polymer Processing, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, China
Brianna R. Jacques
Affiliation:
Department of Biology, University of Wisconsin–River Falls, Wisconsin 54022
Lih-Sheng Turng
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Madison, Wisconsin 53706
Xiang-Fang Peng
Affiliation:
National Engineering Research Center of Novel Equipment for Polymer Processing, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, 510640, China
Corresponding
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Abstract

Porous thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) membranes were produced by the electrospinning process. Two different TPUs and their blends were used to investigate the effects of material composition, solution concentration, and rheological properties on the microstructure, fiber diameter, and fiber diameter distribution of the electrospun membranes. The ratios of hard and soft segments in the solutions were adjusted by varying the blend ratios of TPUs dissolved in N, N-dimethylformamide. The solutions with higher TPU concentrations and more hard segments exhibited a higher viscosity, larger storage and loss moduli, and greater electrospun jet stability. Solutions with concentrations around the critical chain entanglement concentration (Ce) produced bead or beaded fiber structures, while bead-free fibers of a uniform diameter were obtained when the concentration increased to about two times that of Ce. Relationships between the electrospun fiber diameter, the Berry number, and the normalized concentration of the solutions were studied as well.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2013 

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