Experimental design as a tool for the manufacturing of filtering media based on electrospun polyacrylonitrile/-cyclodextrin fibers
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The aim of this work is the manufacturing of non-woven fabrics to be used as Filtering media. These fabrics were produced from polyacrilonitrile (PAN) and -cyclodextrin (-CD) solutions in dimethylsulfoxide using a horizontal electrospinning system with a flat collecting screen. The information from the experiments was statistically analyzed in order to define the process parameters (PAN concentration in solution, volumetric flow and applied voltage) needed for obtaining fibers with the smallest average diameters. First, PAN fibers were produced following a full factorial experimental design and this information was used for preparing the corresponding Response Surfaces needed to define the best conditions for the production of PAN/-CD nonwoven fabrics. The viscosity of the polymer solutions was analyzed using a rotational rheometer and a pseudoplastic behavior was observed, the diameter of the obtained nanofibers was determined using scanning electron microscopy. At the end, the polymer concentration (viscosity) and the volumetric flow rate were selected as the most statistically significant factors affecting the fiber diameter. Besides, uniform PAN and PAN/-CD nanofibers with average fiber diameters between 200 and 500 nm were obtained.