Mechanical behavior, modeling, and color change of electrospun fiber mats
The process of electrospinning and the physical properties of electrospun fibers are presented in this thesis. In electrospinning, polymeric fibers having diameters ranging from 50 nanometers to 1 micrometer are prepared by applying high static charge to a polymer solution. The mechanical properties and molecular morphology of some electrospun polymers are shown to be fundamentally different compared to their bulk analogs. Experimental results indicate that the mechanical behavior of electrospun polyurethane fiber mats is influenced by fiber mat morphology, molecular orientation, and surface flaws on electrospun fibers.
This research characterizes the mechanical behavior of randomly oriented electrospun polyurethane mats and sheds light on general differences in behavior between electrospun and bulk materials. Further, the mechanical response of random fiber mats is modeled based on the mechanical characterization of aligned electrospun fibers. Also, empirical models are employed to relate the tensile properties of electrospun materials to their bulk analogs.
The crystallinity and melting behavior of a family of electrospun polyesters is studied and provides insight to the rapid cooling and effects on solidification and crystallization of electrospun polymeric fibers. The results indicate a commonly accepted idea in electrospinning, that electrospun fibers result from rapid solvent evaporation and experience quench-like solidification from a jet of polymer solution.
A qualitative study illustrates a color change phenomenon in a series of electrospun polymer/solvent systems. Color change is produced by electrospinning, and subsequent heating, and occurs at characteristic temperatures dependent on the polymer system used. These color change systems are also demonstrated as candidates for imageable media.
0794: Materials science