Are the Electrospun Polymers Polymeric Fibers?

S. Fakirov

Centre for Advanced Composite Materials, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand​

Adv. Mater. Lett., 2020, 11 (1), 20011456 (1-3)

DOI: 10.5185/amlett.2020.011456

Publication Date (Web): Dec 07, 2019

Email: s.fakirov@auckland.ac.nz

Abstract


In this short communication, an attempt is undertaken to demonstrate that the widely used practice to call the electrospun polymers from their solutions and melts “polymer nanofibers” is hardly correct for the following reasons. The polymer fibers prepared by means of the common melt-spinning are characterized by perfect molecular orientation of the parallel aligned macromolecules leading to superior mechanical performance. The electrospun polymers are also flexible cylindrical formations but with macromolecules in isotropic, non-oriented state and distinguished by poor mechanical properties, frequently inferior than those of the same polymer in isotropic state. For this reason, it is suggested to call these materials “fiber-like nanomaterials” instead of “polymer nanofiber”. The real target of the communication is to challenge the electrospinning community to modify the manufacturing process in such a way that the final nanomaterial is characterized by perfect molecular orientation resulting in excellent, typical for polymer fibers mechanical properties, which will offer wide real applications of these nanofibers. 

Keywords

Polymer fibers, electrospinning, nanofibers, orientation, mechanical properties, fiber-like nanomaterials

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