Development of an Electro-Centrifugal Spinning Setup for Nanofiber Production Research
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Nanofiber production methods have been developed and improved over the course of decades. Each process allows for the creation of fibers with distinct properties that provide benefits to growing number of applications. On the same note, every process has shortcomings that keep them from being universally valid for all applications. This research considers electrospinning and centrifugal spinning systems and attempts to create a process which maintains high fiber qualities like small and consistent fiber diameters, and improved fiber alignment while providing a high fiber yield. The electro-centrifugal (EC) spinning machine that resulted was designed utilizing computer aided design (CAD) software to create crucial components and 3D print them with unique specifications that will help with vibration reduction, improved modularity, and facilitate cleaning procedure. When tested using 8 wt% polyethylene oxide (PEO) solution in deionized water (DI H2O), the machine was able to produce fibers at 2000, 3000 and 4000 rpm each run with a 0 V, 2000 V and 4000 V potential input. The produced fibers were measured using a scanning electron microscope (SEM) and ImageJ software. The tests showed that adjusting input voltage to higher values improved fiber quality and increased fiber yield. Increasing rotational velocity greatly increased fiber yield but increased fiber diameters. The results showed promise for future testing procedures that could be fine-tuned to produce fibers within the nanometer range (1 – 100 nm).