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Keywords:

  • electrospinning;
  • CaCl2;
  • meta-aramid;
  • spider web;
  • by-product

Abstract

The effect of salt formation during condensation polymerization on the morphology of electrospun meta-aramid fibers was investigated. The presence of a by-product salt (CaCl2) improved the electrospinability of the meta-aramid solution and induced the formation of a spider-web-like structure in the mat. The effect of the concentration of the solution and the applied voltage on the formation of the spider-web-like fibrous structure was investigated. Field emission scanning electron microscopy images indicated that thin fibers were uniformly distributed with thick fibers throughout the mats in the form of a spider-web-like structure. Thermogravimetric analysis showed that the thermal stability of the electrospun mat was affected by CaCl2. The observed enhancement in the thermal and mechanical properties of the mats, which was attributed to the formation of the spider-web-like structure, may increase the number of potential applications of meta-aramids, such as water/air filtration, protective clothing and electrical insulation. Copyright © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry