Direct measurement of the elasticity and fracture properties of electrospun polyacrylonitrile/halloysite fibrous mesh in water

K. L. Goh, M. Makaremi, P. Pasbakhsh, R. T. De Silva, V. Zivkovic

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The objectives of this research are to characterize the effects of hydration on the elasticity and fracture properties of electrospun polyacrylonitrile (PAN) and PAN/halloysite meshes and to use the information for design analysis for water filtration application. Electron micrographs of these meshes revealed pore diameters ranging 1–7 μm. Direct measurement of the mesh stiffness and strength in water revealed that PAN/halloysite meshes were stiffer and stronger than PAN meshes. Solution diffusion model predicted that PAN/halloysite mesh can support a water flux of 2.4 times higher than PAN mesh without breaking during desalination. However, wet meshes were weaker and less stiff than dry meshes. This was attributed to a reduced effectiveness for stress transfer between fibres, caused by the presence of water in (and swelling of) the inter-fibre space, as reflected by a reduction in the volume fraction of the respective PAN and halloysite components.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-23
Number of pages13
JournalPolymer Testing
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


  • Electrospinning
  • Halloysite nanotube
  • Polyacrylonitrile
  • Stress transfer
  • Volume fraction
  • Water flux

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