Electrospinning of reactive mesogens

J. Yao, O.T. Picot, N.F. Hughes-Brittain, C.W.M. Bastiaansen, T. Peijs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The reinforcement potential of reactive liquid crystals or reactive mesogens (RMs) in electrospun fibers was investigated through the blending of two types of RMs (RM257 and RM82) with two types of thermoplastics; polyamide 6 (PA6) and poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA). Polymer/RM blends were electrospun from solution into nanofibers followed by UV-radiation induced photo-polymerization in order to cross-link the RMs. The phase behaviour of the polymer/RM blends was investigated using optical microscopy and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC). Mechanical tests of the electrospun nanofibers showed the biggest improvement in mechanical properties for the PA6/RM257 system containing 33 wt% RMs, with a 20% increase in tensile strength and 150% increase in Young's modulus compared to pure PA6 nanofibers. The work potentially provides a new route towards designed nanofibers with oriented microstructures, ultimately leading to a methodology for creating high performance electrospun nanofibers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-651
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Polymer Journal
Volume84
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2016

Keywords

  • Electrospinning
  • Liquid crystals
  • Mechanical properties
  • Nanofibers
  • Phase separation
  • Reactive mesogens

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