Morphologies and crystal structures of styrene–acrylonitrile/isotactic polypropylene ultrafine fibers fabricated by melt electrospinning

Authors

  • Li Cao,

    1. Key Laboratory of Carbon Fiber and Functional Polymers, Ministry of Education, School of Material Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, People's Republic of China
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  • Mu Dong,

    1. Beijing Research Institute of Chemical Industry, SINOPEC, Polymer Research & Development Center, Beijing 100013, People's Republic of China
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  • Anyang Zhang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Carbon Fiber and Functional Polymers, Ministry of Education, School of Material Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, People's Republic of China
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  • Yong Liu,

    1. Key Laboratory of Beijing City on Preparation and Processing of Novel Polymer Materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100013, People's Republic of China
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  • Weimin Yang,

    1. Key Laboratory of Beijing City on Preparation and Processing of Novel Polymer Materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100013, People's Republic of China
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  • Zhiqiang Su,

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Carbon Fiber and Functional Polymers, Ministry of Education, School of Material Science and Technology, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100029, People's Republic of China
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  • Xiaonong Chen

    Corresponding author
    1. Key Laboratory of Beijing City on Preparation and Processing of Novel Polymer Materials, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Beijing 100013, People's Republic of China
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Abstract

Ultrafine fibers or fiber web is an attractive material for its high aspect ratio or porous structure which is welcomed in various applications. In this study, ultrafine fibers (5–10 μm) of styrene–acrylonitrile (SAN) copolymer/isotactic polypropylene (iPP) blends were produced by melt electrospinning, SAN acted as a polymeric nucleating agent (PNA) in iPP fibers. Wide-angle X-ray diffraction, differential scanning calorimetry, scanning electron microscopy, and polarized optical microscopy were used to investigate the morphologies and the crystal structures of SAN/iPP electrospun fibers. The results showed that SAN/iPP melt formed microfibers with different morphologies and crystallinities through electrostatic stretching. The morphological distribution of SAN in iPP fibers depended on the SAN content, and the distribution influenced its nucleating activity and the final crystal structure of SAN/iPP electrospun fibers. After annealing treatment, the molecular chains of iPP in the confined SAN/iPP microfibers disorientated and rearranged, leading to the formation of a mixture of α- and γ-crystal forms. The relative amount of the γ-crystal form depended on PNA's concentration, annealing temperature and annealing time. Melt electrospun iPP fibers prepared in this study were collected as fiber webs that can be used for protective clothing material, filtration media, reinforcement for composites, and so on. POLYM. ENG. SCI., 53:2674–2682, 2013. © 2013 Society of Plastics Engineers

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