Electrospinning has shown great promise in the manufacturing of nanofibers, yet the scalability of electrospinning has posed a number of challenges. These challenges include:
• Low fiber output per spinneret since solvent often makes up 70% of the solution mass, depending on the polymer and solvent system.
• Clogging of spinneret due to the solidification of higher concentration solutions, which can lead to downtime and subsequent production losses.
• Health, environmental and fire hazards due to the handling and recovery requirements of the large amounts of solvent used during the electrospinning process.
To overcome these difficulties, Dr. Vince Beachley in the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Dave Jao, a graduate student in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, have developed a purely mechanical process to manufacture nanofibers that appears to have the promise to overcome the challenges associated with electrospinning and be amenable to easy scale up to industrial quantities.
Nanofibers have a wide variety of applications in a broad number of fields such as high-strength light-weight composites; filtration/absorption materials; sensors/electronic devices and smart materials; batteries/energy harvest; and biomedical devices. This apparatus and technique developed overcomes the limitations in the current state of electrospinning and has the potential to enable the cost effective, large-scale manufacture of nanofibers.
The global nanofibers market size was USD 390.6 million in 2015. In the field of biomedical devices, the desirable mechanical properties of nanofibers and compatibility with biomedical devices have contributed to a
significant penetration in medical, life science, and pharmaceutical markets. Nanofibers have significant opportunities for companies in high-value sectors including aerospace, automotive, defense, solar energy, and fuel cells. Fabrication of a broad range of products from composite nanoscale fibers is expected to drive innovation in new composites and enhance the use of nanofibers in automotive and textiles market. Rowan University is looking for a partner for further development and commercialization of this technology through a license.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Sep 2018|