Solution Blow Spinning of High-Performance Submicron Polyvinylidene Fluoride Fibres: Computational Fluid Mechanics Modelling and Experimental Results
Hassanin, Ahmed H.
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Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) was used to investigate characteristics of high-speed air as it is expelled from a solution blow spinning (SBS) nozzle using a k-ε turbulence model. Air velocity, pressure, temperature, turbulent kinetic energy and density contours were generated and analysed in order to achieve an optimal attenuation force for fibre production. A bespoke convergent nozzle was used to produce polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) fibres at air pressures between 1 and 5 bar. The nozzle comprised of four parts: a polymer solution syringe holder, an air inlet, an air chamber, and a cap that covers the air chamber. A custom-built SBS setup was used to produce PVDF submicron fibres which were consequently analysed using scanning electron microscope (SEM) for their morphological features. Both theoretical and experimental observations showed that a higher air pressure (4 bar) is more suitable to achieve thin fibres of PVDF. However, fibre diameter increased at 5 bar and intertwined ropes of fibres were also observed.