Gas transport properties of electrospun polymer nanofibers

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36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Although the basic principles of gas flow through unidirectional fibers have been widely studied and well understood since the 1950s, questions arise when these principles are applied to electrospun polymer nanofibers. Classic theories based on orderly packed coarse fibers are inadequate in accounting for the influences of random fiber distribution and slip flow. In this work, a mechanistic model in terms of fiber volume fraction and fiber radius is presented to determine the through-plane permeability of electrospun nanofiber layers. The fibrous system is subdivided into a series of cells of orthogonal fibers with random volumes. A single factor is proposed to quantify the effect of randomness of fiber distribution on flow behaviors. When the fiber radius is comparable with the mean free path of air molecules, the slip flows in the nanoscale fibrous media are particularly explored. The solutions obtained are successfully validated through comparison with experimental and numerical results. It is demonstrated that the through-plane permeability of electrospun nanofibers is enhanced by the slip effect and randomly distributed fibers are more permeable than ordered structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3149-3155
Number of pages7
JournalPolymer
Volume55
Issue number14
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2014

Keywords

  • Electrospun nanofibers
  • Mechanistic model
  • Transport properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Polymers and Plastics
  • Materials Chemistry

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