College of Engineering (COE)

Date of Last Revision

2020-05-05 10:42:22


Chemical Engineering - Cooperative Education

Honors Course


Number of Credits


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2020


Polymer fiber mats may often be very thin which leads to complications in measuring thickness. The thickness of fiber mats, however, is crucial in understanding their behavior. Thickness affects how well the mat works as a filter as well as the pressure drop across the mat, and herein lies the need for accurate measurement techniques. Currently two of the available techniques for measuring mat thickness are by laser interferometry[1] and by buoyancy force when submerged in water[2]. Instead of measuring the buoyancy force in this experiment, an enclosure intended to measure the thickness via water displacement was fabricated. A glass slide that has had a fiber mat spun onto it is placed into a dish with the fiber mat facing down, and the water displacement is recorded. The goal of this project is to identify and quantify the difference – or lack thereof – between laser interferometry and water displacement measurement techniques. Polyvinylidene difluoride (PVDF) was chosen for its high hydrophobicity, and fiber mats of varying basis weights were produced via electrospinning. Then the thicknesses were to be obtained with both methods of measurement. Repeat tests were to be run to observe variance within and between the groupings. The expected result of this experiment is that the difference between the two measurement techniques will be statistically insignificant. Unfortunately, due to circumstances surrounding Covid-19, the tests were not possible to be run.

[1] (Zhou, et al., 2019)

[2] (Samaha, Tafreshi, & Gad-el-Hak, 2013)

Research Sponsor

Dr. George Chase

First Reader

Dr. Edward Evans

Second Reader

Dr. Bi-Min Zhang Newby

Honors Faculty Advisor

Dr. Bi-Min Zhang Newby



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