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Journal of Nanomaterials
Volume 2012, Article ID 382639, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/382639
Research Article

Needleless Melt-Electrospinning of Polypropylene Nanofibres

1Australian Future Fibres Research and Innovation Centre, Deakin University, Geelong, VIC 3216, Australia
2LyondellBasell Australia Pty Ltd., Corio, VIC 3214, Australia

Received 13 December 2011; Accepted 4 March 2012

Academic Editor: Gajanan S. Bhat

Copyright © 2012 Jian Fang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Polypropylene (PP) nanofibres have been electrospun from molten PP using a needleless melt-electrospinning setup containing a rotary metal disc spinneret. The influence of the disc spinneret (e.g., disc material and diameter), operating parameters (e.g., applied voltage, spinning distance), and a cationic surfactant on the fibre formation and average fibre diameter were examined. It was shown that the metal material used for making the disc spinneret had a significant effect on the fibre formation. Although the applied voltage had little effect on the fibre diameter, the spinning distance affected the fibre diameter considerably, with shorter spinning distance resulting in finer fibres. When a small amount of cationic surfactant (dodecyl trimethyl ammonium bromide) was added to the PP melt for melt-electrospinning, the fibre diameter was reduced considerably. The finest fibres produced from this system were 400±290 nm. This novel melt-electrospinning setup may provide a continuous and efficient method to produce PP nanofibres.