Electrospinning and Morphological Characterisation of Nanofibres from Polymer Blends (Iline Steyaert) (2012 - 2015)

The main aim of this project is to gain insight in the morphology of nanostructured nonwovens produced by the electrospinning of polymer blends, emphasising the combination of natural polymers with synthetic polymers. A morphological characterisation of the nanofibres can on the one hand provide information on the electrospinning process and more in particular its required stability, and on the other hand on material properties. In this way, reproducible and high-tech nanofibre structures can be realised. An intensive fibre analysis is aimed at by means of different techniques such as SEM, TEM, AFM, nano-TA, DSC, DMA, XRD, vibrational spectroscopy, etc.
The use of polymer blends can highly influence the obtained nanofibre structure since the interactions between the two types of polymers have to be considered. This can be manifested by differences in solubility, electrospinning parameters, material properties etc. The latter group is being analysed by its macrostructure (uniformity, pore size), its fibre morphology (fibre diameter, uniformity, shape), its crystal morphology, its phase morphology and its thermal properties. This insight is of vital importance in order to evolve to tailor-made nanofibre structures through the electrospinning of polymer blends.

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Supported by: IWT
Duration: 01/2012 – 12/2015
Contact: Prof. Dr. ir. Karen De Clerck