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Issue 14, 2012
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Drop impacts on electrospun nanofiber membranes

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This work reports a systematic study of drop impacts of polar and non-polar liquids onto different electrospun nanofiber membranes (of 8–10 μm thickness and pore sizes of 3–6 μm) with an increasing degree of hydrophobicity. The liquids studied were water, FC 7500 (Fluorinert fluid) and hexane. The nanofibers used were electrospun from polyacrylonitrile (PAN), nylon 6/6, polycaprolactone (PCL) and Teflon. It was found that for any liquid/fiber pair there exists a threshold impact velocity (∼1.5 to 3 m s−1) above which water penetrates membranes irrespective of their hydrophobicity. The other liquids (FC 7500 and hexane) penetrate the membranes even more easily. The low surface tension liquid, FC 7500, left the rear side of sufficiently thin membranes as a millipede-like system of tiny jets protruding through a number of pores. For such a high surface tension liquid as water, jets immediately merged into a single bigger jet, which formed secondary spherical drops due to capillary instability. No mechanical damage to the nanofiber mats after liquid perforation was observed. A theoretical estimate of the critical membrane thickness sufficient for complete viscous dissipation of the kinetic energy of penetrating liquid is given and corroborated by the experimental data.

Graphical abstract: Drop impacts on electrospun nanofiber membranes

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Sep 2011, accepted on 20 Jan 2012 and first published on 29 Feb 2012

Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C2SM06744G
Citation: Soft Matter, 2012,8, 3957-3970
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    Drop impacts on electrospun nanofiber membranes

    R. P. Sahu, S. Sinha-Ray, A. L. Yarin and B. Pourdeyhimi, Soft Matter, 2012, 8, 3957
    DOI: 10.1039/C2SM06744G

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