(750b) High Performance Electrospun Polyethylene Fibers By Gel-Electrospinning | AIChE

(750b) High Performance Electrospun Polyethylene Fibers By Gel-Electrospinning


Park, J. H. - Presenter, Cornell University
Rutledge, G., Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrospinning has been widely used over the last decade to fabricate polymeric fibers with submicron to micron diameters for various applications, such as filters, battery materials, and biomaterials. Despite their many unique properties, electrospun nanofibers tend to be weaker than conventional polymer fibers, especially when compared to engineered high performance materials such as Spectra®. Inspired by a commercial gel-spinning process, we developed a novel procedure that we have dubbed â??gel-electrospinningâ?, wherein a polymer gel is drawn by electrical forces to obtain high performance fibers with submicron diameters. Using this process, we fabricated ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) fibers with diameter less than [value] and moduli greater than 100 GPa from solutions of p-xylene and tert-butyl ammonium bromide at elevated temperature. Here, we report the tensile modulus, ultimate tensile strength, and toughness of these fibers, along with their crystallinity and molecular orientation, to demonstrate the structure-property relationship among these parameters. The key to the production of these fibers is careful control of the temperature and rheology in several process zones.