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Characterisation of Electrospun PS/PU Polymer Blend Fibre Mat for Oil Sorption

Akanbi, MJ; Jayasinghe, SN; Wojcik, A; (2020) Characterisation of Electrospun PS/PU Polymer Blend Fibre Mat for Oil Sorption. Polymer , Article 123129. 10.1016/j.polymer.2020.123129. (In press).

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Abstract

Electrospun polystyrene (PS) fibre mat has been shown to have great potential as an oil sorbent due to its high sorption capacity and oil-water selectivity. Poor mechanical properties, due to the lack of inter-fibre bonding, has been a limiting factor in its use in such applications. In this study, mats of polymer blends of polystyrene (PS) and thermoplastic polyurethane (PU) fibres, in different polymer weight ratios, were produced and investigated for possible oil sorption application. A comprehensive physico-chemical, thermal, mechanical and sorption characterisation of the different polymer blends was undertaken, to examine the effect of blend ratio on the fibre mat. Characterisation was by field emission scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy dispersive x-ray (EDX) spectroscopy, attenuated total reflectance fourier transform infrared (ATR-FTIR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC), thermo-gravimetric and differential analysis (TG-DTA), mechanical tensile testing, and by sorption analysis. The microstructural properties of the fibres appeared significantly dependent upon the relative blend ratio. DSC revealed that good interaction/miscibility existed between the two polymers. Tensile strength characterisation showed that a pure PS fibre mat had a poor tensile strength, but the value increased over one order of magnitude with the addition of PU in the polymer matrix, attributed to the formation of inter-fibre bonds. Conversely, the sorption capacity (SC) decreased with increasing PU addition. Modulating the blend ratio could therefore provide a balance between the desired sorption capacity and the mechanical behaviour of resultant mats. Sorption capacity is a complex interaction between fibre and mat characteristics but the polymer blend technique reported here offers a simple, effective and inexpensive method of addressing the poor mechanical properties of electrospun PS fibre, through enhancing micro/nano scale interactions between the two polymers in the blend.

Type: Article
Title: Characterisation of Electrospun PS/PU Polymer Blend Fibre Mat for Oil Sorption
DOI: 10.1016/j.polymer.2020.123129
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.polymer.2020.123129
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: Electrospinning, Polymer Blend, Thermal Properties, Mechanical Characterisation, Oil Sorption, Oil Spillage Remediation
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Mechanical Engineering
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10112158
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