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Muro del Alcoy, Spain

Blanes M.,Textile Technology Institute AITEX | Marco B.,Textile Technology Institute AITEX | Gisbert M.J.,Textile Technology Institute AITEX | Bonet M.A.,University of Alicante | Balart R.,University of Alicante
Textile Research Journal

In recent years, the electrospinning process has become one of the most interesting processes to obtain nanofiber webs with interesting properties for uses in a wide variety of industrial sectors such as filtration, chemical barriers, medical devices, etc., as a consequence of the relatively high surface-to-volume ratio. Among the wide variety of polymers, polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) offers good advantages since it is water-soluble and this fact enables easy processing by electrospinning. There are many variables and parameters to be considered in order to optimize PVA nanofiber webs: some of them are related to the polymer solution, some others are related to the process, and some of them are related to the collector substrate. In this work a study on the effects of two different surface pre-treatments on a nonwoven polypropylene substrate as a collector of PVA nanofiber webs has been carried out. In particular, a chemical treatment with anionic antistatics and a physical treatment with low-pressure plasma have been investigated. The effects of these pre-treatments on morphology of PVA nanofiber webs have been evaluated by scanning electron microscopy. Results show that surface resistivity is one of the main parameters influencing the web formation as well as the nature of the electric charge achieved by the pre-treatment. The plasma treatment promotes changes in surface resistivity but it is not enough for good web deposition. Chemical pre-treatment (padding) with anionic antistatic leads to a decrease in surface resistivity up to values in the 1 × 109-1 × 1011 Ω which is enough for good nanofiber deposition. © The Author(s), 2010. Source

Pascual J.,Textile Technology Institute AITEX | Peris F.,Textile Technology Institute AITEX | Boronat T.,University of Alicante | Fenollar O.,University of Alicante | Balart R.,University of Alicante
Polymer Engineering and Science

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have been added to polypropylene (PP) matrix to improve the overall performance of composites. The mixing process has been carried out by melt compounding using a twin screw co-rotating extruder with different CNTs amounts in the 0.5-10 wt% from a concentrated PP-CNTs masterbatch (20 wt% CNTs). Results show a remarkable increase in tensile strength and elastic modulus while a decrease in elongation at break is detected. With regard to thermal behavior, a remarkable increase in thermal stability at high temperatures (decomposition process studied by thermogravimetric analysis) is obtained as the CNTs amount increases. In addition to this improvement, a noticeable increase in thermal stability at medium temperatures (degradation onset determined by differential scanning calorimetry, DSC) is also observed. In a similar way, other property related to thermal and mechanical performance, such as Vicat softening temperature (VST) is improved with CNTs content. The optimum balance between cost and properties seems to be in the 1-3 wt% range. © 2011 Society of Plastics Engineers. Source

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