News Column

Investigators at Chonbuk National University Report Findings in Polymer Physics

June 24, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Physics Week -- Fresh data on Polymer Physics are presented in a new report. According to news reporting from Jeonju, South Korea, by VerticalNews journalists, research stated, "Electrospun nanofibers have attracted great attention as potential reinforcements in composite application due to their high specific surface area, high porosity, and versatility. Because the electrospun nanofibers exhibit relatively low mechanical strength due to low crystallinity and random alignment, many researchers have tried to enhance the mechanical strength through various approaches, such as heat treatment and fiber orientation control."

The news correspondents obtained a quote from the research from Chonbuk National University, "These methods, however, are difficult to control and require the use of high temperatures and sophisticated apparatuses, and high costs. In this study, we investigate a novel microwave technique to fabricate high-strength electrospun meta-aramid nanofiber mats. To optimize the microwave irradiation conditions, the electrospun nanofiber was treated at varying levels of moisture and for different irradiation times. Field emission scanning electron microscopy was used to observe the surface morphology of the electrospun nanofiber mats at the different irradiation times. The changes in the crystallinity and thermal properties were investigated using X-ray diffraction and thermogravimetric analysis measurements. Tensile tests were performed to measure the mechanical strength of the meta-aramid nanofiber mats with respect to each parameter. As a result, any residual solvents and salts were removed, and the degree of crystallization was dramatically increased by microwave irradiation under wet conditions."

According to the news reporters, the research concluded: "These effects led to a 2.8-fold increase in the tensile strength of the nanofiber mats compared with an untreated mat."

For more information on this research see: A Novel Method for a High-Strength Electrospun Meta- Aramid Nanofiber by Microwave Treatment. Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics, 2014;52(12):807-814. Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics can be contacted at: Wiley-Blackwell, 111 River St, Hoboken 07030-5774, NJ, USA.

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting H.J. Oh, Chonbuk National University, Dept. of Organ Mat & Fiber Engn, Jeonju 561756, South Korea. Additional authors for this research include S.H. Han and S.S. Kim.

Keywords for this news article include: Asia, Jeonju, South Korea, Polymer Physics

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Source: Physics Week

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