Effect of solution parameters on electrospun PLA/PCL fibers
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This research work focused on studying two different concentrations of poly (ε-caprolactone) (PCL) and blends of PCL with Poly (lactic acid) (PLA) at five blending rations and that are dissolved in different co-solvents (chloroform: methanol and dichloromethane (DCM) : N,N, dimethylformamide (DMF)). The fibers produced from the DCM:DMF system for all percentages of polymer blends were smaller in fiber diameter as compared to the fibers produced from the chloroform: methanol system. However, it was found that generally, the fiber properties were related to the viscosity and conductivity of their bulk solution. The fiber diameters and the surface morphology were dependent on the PLA/PCL ratio and also on the relevant co-solvent amount. Solution concentration, viscosity, conductivity and solvent volatility were found to be the key factors that controlled the fiber diameter. In addition, the chain entanglements in the solution and the dielectric constant of the solvent have a significant influence on the morphology of the resulting fibers. Furthermore, increasing the PCL amount in blends increased the solution viscosity, and higher viscosity led to electrospun fibers with larger diameters.
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