School of Engineering and Materials Science
Research Student Awards
PhD Thesis: Thermo-mechanical properties of electrospun polymer fibres
Author: WANG, Wei
In this thesis, the mechanical and thermal properties of polymer fibres produced through electrospinning have been investigated. Novel atomic force microscopy (AFM) mechanical testing was developed in conjunction with sample heating to provide nano-mechanical analysis (nMTA) of commercial semi-crystalline polymers of polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) and polyethylene oxide (PEO). The nMTA used sample configurations comparable with macroscopic three point bending and indentation to show how the mechanical performance of electrospun fibres are intimately linked to the structural changes induced during temperature changes. Results indicate how the mechanical (Young’s modulus) and thermal properties) glass transition temperatures, Tg) of the electrospun PVA fires are superior to their bulk equivalents. For highly crystalline polymer PEO, the significant decrease (melting temperature, Tm) was found in the resultant fibres.