Flow Blurring-Enabled Production of Polymer Filaments from Poly(ethylene oxide) Solutions
|Author/s||Modesto-López, Luis B.
Gañán-Calvo, Alfonso M.
|Department||Universidad de Sevilla. Departamento de Ingeniería Aeroespacial y Mecánica de Fluidos|
|Abstract||Flow blurring (FB) atomizers are relatively
simple yet robust devices used for the generation of sprays
from solutions of a wide range of viscosities. In this work, we
have demonstrated that FB devices may also be applied ...
Flow blurring (FB) atomizers are relatively simple yet robust devices used for the generation of sprays from solutions of a wide range of viscosities. In this work, we have demonstrated that FB devices may also be applied for massive production of liquid filaments from polymeric solutions. They can later be transformed into solid filaments and fibers, leading to the production of so-called fiber mats. The liquid precursors consisted of poly(ethylene oxide) (PEO) solutions of varying molecular weights (105 [100k] to 4 × 106 g/mol [4M]) and concentrations. The FB device was operated in the gas pressure range of 3−6 bar. Except for solutions of PEO 100k, all solutions exhibited a shear thinning behavior. For massive filament production, a threshold polymer concentration (ct) was identified for each molecular weight. Below such concentration, the atomization resulted in droplets (the classical FB functioning mode). Such a threshold value decreased as the PEO molecular weight increased, and it coincides with the polymer coil overlap concentration, c*. The viscoelastic nature of the solutions was also observed to increase with the molecular weight. A 3.2 dependency of the zero-shear rate viscosity on a so-called Bueche parameter was found for filament production, whereas a nearly linear dependency was found for droplet production. In general, the mean diameter of the filaments decreased as they traveled downstream from the atomization point. Furthermore, at a given distance from the atomizer outlet and gas pressure, the mean filament diameter slightly shifted toward larger sizes with increasing PEO molecular weight. The tendency agrees well with the calculated filaments’ Deborah number, which increases with PEO molecular weight. The approach presented herein describes a highthroughput and efficient method for the massive production of viscous filaments. These may be transformed into fibers by an on-line drying step.
|Funding agencies||Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad (MINECO). España|
|Citation||Modesto-López, L.B., Pérez-Arjona, A. y Gañán-Calvo, Alfonso M. (2019). Flow Blurring-Enabled Production of Polymer Filaments from Poly(ethylene oxide) Solutions. ACS Omega, 4 (2), 2693-2701.|