Development of orientation during electrospinning of fibres of poly(ε-caprolactone)
Edwards, M. D., Mitchell, G. R., Mohan, S. D. and Olley, R. H. (2010) Development of orientation during electrospinning of fibres of poly(ε-caprolactone). European Polymer Journal, 46 (6). pp. 1175-1183. ISSN 0014-3057
To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.eurpolymj.2010.03.017
We explore the influence of a rotating collector on the internal structure of poly(ε-caprolactone) fibres electrospun from a solution in dichloroethane. We find that above a threshold collector speed, the mean fibre diameter reduces as the speed increases and the fibres are further extended. Small-angle and wide-angle X-ray scattering techniques show a preferred orientation of the lamellar crystals normal to the fibre axis which increases with collector speed to a maximum and then reduces. We have separated out the processes of fibre alignment on the collector and the orientation of crystals within the fibres. There are several stages to this behaviour which correspond to the situations (a) where the collector speed is slower than the fibre spinning rate, (b) the fibre is mechanically extended by the rotating collector and (c) where the deformation leads to fibre fracture. The mechanical deformation leads to a development of preferred orientation with extension which is similar to the prediction of the pseudo-affine deformation model and suggests that the deformation takes place during the spinning process after the crystals have formed.