Melt spinning of β-phase poly(vinylidene fluoride) yarns with and without a conductive core


  • Anja Lund,

    Corresponding author
    1. The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, SE-501 90 Borås, Sweden
    2. Department of Materials and Manufacturing Technology, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Göteborg, Sweden
    • The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås, SE-501 90 Borås, Sweden
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  • Bengt Hagström

    1. Swerea IVF, Textiles and Plastics Department, SE-431 22 Mölndal, Sweden
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When poly(vinylidene fluoride) (PVDF) is to be used as a piezoelectric material, the processing must include the formation of polar β-phase crystallites, as well as the application of electrically conducting charge collectors, that is, electrodes. In this article, results from the melt spinning of PVDF yarns and a novel bicomponent PVDF-yarn with a conductive carbon black/polypropylene (CB/PP) core are presented. Melt spinning has been done under conditions typical for industrial large-scale fiber production. The effects on the resulting crystalline structure of varying the spinning velocity, draw rate, and draw temperature are discussed. The results show that, for maximum α-to-β phase transformation, cold drawing should take place at a temperature between 70 and 90°C, and both the draw ratio and the draw rate should be as high as possible. It was observed that the cold drawing necessary to form β-phase crystallinity simultaneously leads to a decrease in the core conductivity of the bicomponent yarns. In this work, the melt spinning of bicomponent fibers with high-β-phase PVDF in the sheath and a CB/PP core was successfully accomplished. The core material remained electrically conductive, paving the way for the use of a CB-polymer compound as inner electrode in the melt spinning of piezoelectric bicomponent fibers. © 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011