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Portable melt electrospinning apparatus without an extra electricity supply

Yan, Xu, Duan, Xiao-Peng, Yu, Shu-Xin, Li, Ye-Ming, Lv, Xin, Li, Jun-Tao, Chen, Hong-Ying, Ning, Xin, Long, Yun-Ze
RSC advances 2017 v.7 no.53 pp. 33132-33136
alcohols, electricity, heat, heating systems, melting, polylactic acid, polyurethanes, temperature
Melt electrospinning has attracted a lot of interest due to its advantages such as being solvent-free, low-cost and so on. However, previously reported melt electrospinning devices were usually complicated due to their necessary heating system. Moreover, the electrical heating system may cause electrostatic interference during the melt electrospinning process. For simplification, we designed a portable melt electrospinning setup based on an alcohol lamp (or a candle/lighter) as a heat source, which could make the setup work well without an extra power supply and electrostatic interference. Polymers such as polycaprolactone (PCL), poly(lactic acid) (PLA) and polyurethane (PU) were electrospun successfully into fibers with diameters of 13–60 μm using this apparatus. We also study the influence of various experimental parameters, such as the temperature of the charging barrel (120–255 °C, which can be adjusted by changing the heating distance), electrospinning distance (6–14 cm) and the inner diameter of the spinneret (0.26–1.2 mm), on the PCL fibers. This simple and safe device can be used as a demonstrator for the melt electrospinning process.