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Fabrication and properties of elastic fibers from electrospinning natural rubber
journal contributionposted on 2019-11-15, 00:00 authored by Yongzhen Li, Xungai Wang, Zheng Peng, P Li, C Li, Lingxue KongLingxue Kong
Electrospinning natural rubber (NR) to get elastic nano-/microfibers has attracted much attention. Suitable solvent such as tetrahydrofuran (THF) was selected by considering solubility, toxicity, and electrospinning results. Dynamic light scattering testing was used to measure the hydrodynamic diameter (Dh) of the solutions with different solvents and the critical concentrations (C*) of NR/THF solution. For NR solutions with the same concentration from different solvents, the larger Dh the solution, the larger the electrospun fiber diameter. Stable electrospinning concentration window ranging from 25 to 50 g/L, which corresponds to 38 > [ŋ]C > 19, was identified. Mechanical properties of both electrospun NR fiber mats and single fibers were estimated from tensile testing. Fibrous mats with excellent elasticity at about 439 to 505% elongation were demonstrated; however, the elongation rate of single fibers was 44%. Electrospun fiber mats with high elasticity of NR materials can be potentially used in soft tissue engineering and strain sensor areas.