RAPID VISUALIZATION OF THE MASS DISTRIBUTION PROFILE OF ELECTROSPUN LAYERS
Pokorný , Marek
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Nanofibrous materials are currently widely used in many different areas. One of the technologies commonly used for their production is electrospinning. The mass distribution in a produced nanofibrous layer is a crucial factor especially for filtration applications and active ingredients or drug release applications. Image analysis is an efficient non-destructive method of a mass distribution determination, which has already been used in the evaluation of textiles and melt-blown webs, but so far only a few publications have dealt with its use in the field of electrospun materials. To facilitate the process of image analysis of deposited nanofibers, we developed a new collector electrode, which makes it possible to determine the optical mass distribution profile of the produced layer. A series of experiments proved that the developed collector allows an easy evaluation of the appearance of nanofibrous layers as well as the effects of many associated factors such as emitter configuration on the resulting sample. The results showed how the properties of nanofibrous layers (such as deposition zone dimensions, location of these zones, mass distribution profiles produced by different spinning nozzles) can change during the electrospinning process. The advantages of the method described in the present article are that it allows a contactless and non-destructive determination of mass distribution, detection of macroscopic defects, and investigation of causes behind layer thickness inhomogeneities. All in all, the presented method is a useful research and development tool for the field of electrospinning.
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