Polypropylene (PP) nanofibres have been electrospun from molten PP using a needleless melt-electrospinning setup containing a rotary metal disc spinneret. The influence of the disc spinneret (e.g., disc material and diameter), operating parameters (e.g., applied voltage, spinning distance), and a cationic surfactant on the fibre formation and average fibre diameter were examined. It was shown that the metal material used for making the disc spinneret had a significant effect on the fibre formation. Although the applied voltage had little effect on the fibre diameter, the spinning distance affected the fibre diameter considerably, with shorter spinning distance resulting in finer fibres. When a small amount of cationic surfactant (dodecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide) was added to the PP melt for melt-electrospinning, the fibre diameter was reduced considerably. The finest fibres produced from this system were 4 0 0 ± 2 9 0 nm. This novel melt-electrospinning setup may provide a continuous and efficient method to produce PP nanofibres.
Field of Research
091205 Functional Materials 091209 Polymers and Plastics