Pressure Control System for Electrospinning Process
Electrospinning is used to produce micro- and nano-sized synthetic fibers through the use of electrostatic forces. Commercially, viable production of fibers requires high throughput of uniform fibers that are free of defects. To achieve greater control over the process variables that affect the fiber formation, a scalable closed loop control system that can maintain a constant pressure at the capillary tip was designed and tested. Two sensing technologies, infrared and ultrasonic, were used and compared for their ability to detect the height of polymer solution in the electrospinning fluid container. The air pressure above the solution was measured with a pressure transducer and adjusted through a controllable syringe pump. The closed loop electrospinning system was successful at controlling and maintaining a constant pressure at the capillary tip to within 2% of the specified pressure continuously. The controlled pressure at the capillary tip showed a strong correlation to fiber diameter and uniformity for polydimethylsiloxane-based polyurethane/DMF-based fibers. However the control system was less effective to control fiber diameter for polyethylene oxide/Water-based fibers.
Polymer Engineering & Science
Druesedow, Charles J.; Batur, Celal; Cakmak, Mukerrem; and Yalcin, Baris, "Pressure Control System for Electrospinning Process" (2010). Polymer Engineering Faculty Research. 317.