Mathematical Modelling of Polymer Trajectory during Electrospinning
I. Ferouka, T. Šušteršič, M. Živanović, N. Filipović (DOI: 10.24874/jsscm.2018.12.02.02)
The most important characteristics of the electrospun fibers are their internal morphology and their diameter. They both depend on polymer’s parameters, but also on the process parameters. The motivation for this research is therefore to simulate the jet during electrospinning and analyze the effects of some of the parameters on the jet (and implicitly on fibers), without the necessity to perform the experiments each time. The calculations of the polymer’s behavior between the electrodes was based on the discrete model of Reneker. Thus, the jet was modeled as a system of beads connected by viscoelastic elements. The results were compared to the results obtained in the literature and showed good agreement. The results showed how the jet shape during electrospinning depends on each parameter. The ultimate goal was to establish the exact influence of the above-mentioned parameters on the fibers’ diameter. This would allow to set rough values of electrospinning parameters, which could be further fine-tuned, in order to obtain the fibers with expected characteristics. The beneficial effect of such simulations are time gain, but also reduced material consumption, maintenance costs etc.