Submitted to: Journal of Applied Polymer Science
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2011
Publication Date: 3/15/2012
Citation: Selling, G.W. 2012. Electrospun fiber and cast films produced using zein blends with nylon-6. Journal of Applied Polymer Science. 123(5):2651-2661.
Technical Abstract: Blends of zein and nylon-6 (55k) were used to produce electrospun fibers and solution cast films. Zein was blended with nylon-6 in formic acid solution. When the amount of nylon-6 was 8% or less a compatible blend formed. The blend was determined to be compatible based on physical property measurements, DSC and IR spectra. The materials were compared based on their tensile properties, thermal properties, morphology and solvent resistance. Using between 2 and 8% nylon-6 provided a 33% increase in tensile strength. Young’s modulus increased by over 50% in this range. In general, elongation was lower for all formulations. Surprisingly the cast films having 2 – 8% nylon-6 had improved solvent resistance to 90% ethanol/water. Electrospun fibers were produced from formic acid solutions of zein and nylon-6 where the amount of nylon was 0, 2 6 and 8%. Fibers produced from 27% spinning solids had average diameters on the order of 0.5 microns. Reducing the spinning solids to 21% provide slightly smaller fibers however, the fibers had more defects.