Mechanically Robust and Recyclable Cross-Linked Fibers from Melt Blown Anthracene-Functionalized Commodity Polymers

Kailong Jin, Aditya Banerji, David Kitto, Frank S. Bates, Christopher J Ellison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Melt blowing combines extrusion of a polymer melt through orifices and attenuation of the extrudate with hot high-velocity air jets to produce nonwoven fibers in a single step. Due to its simplicity and high-throughput nature, melt blowing produces more than 10% of global nonwovens (â$50 billion market). Semicrystalline thermoplastic feedstock, such as poly(butylene terephthalate), polyethylene, and polypropylene, have dominated the melt blowing industry because of their facile melt processability and thermal/chemical resistance; other amorphous commodity thermoplastics (e.g., styrenics, (meth)acrylates, etc.) are generally not employed because they lack one or both characteristics. Cross-linking commodity polymers could enable them to serve more demanding applications, but cross-linking is not compatible with melt processing, and it must be implemented after fiber formation. Here, cross-linked fibers were fabricated by melt blowing linear anthracene-functionalized acrylic polymers into fibers, which were subsequently cross-linked via anthracene-dimerization triggered by either UV light or sunlight. The resulting fibers possessed nearly 100% gel content because of highly efficient anthracene photodimerization in the solid state. Compared to the linear precursors, the anthracene-dimer cross-linked acrylic fibers exhibited enhanced thermomechanical properties suggesting higher upper service temperatures (∼180 °C), showing promise for replacing traditional thermoplastic-based melt blown nonwovens in certain applications. Additionally, given the dynamic nature of the anthracene-dimer cross-links at elevated temperatures (> ∼180 °C), the resulting cross-linked fibers could be effectively recycled after use, providing new avenues toward sustainable nonwoven products.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12863-12870
Number of pages8
JournalACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
Volume11
Issue number13
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

Fingerprint

Anthracene
Polymers
Blow molding
Fibers
Thermoplastics
Dimers
Acrylics
Acrylates
Polyethylene Terephthalates
Chemical resistance
Dimerization
Polymer melts
Polypropylenes
Orifices
anthracene
Ultraviolet radiation
Polyethylene terephthalates
Feedstocks
Extrusion
Gels

Keywords

  • anthracene-dimerization
  • cross-linked fibers
  • melt blowing
  • nonwoven
  • reversible bonds

How much support was provided by MRSEC?

  • Shared

Reporting period for MRSEC

  • Period 6

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article

Cite this

Mechanically Robust and Recyclable Cross-Linked Fibers from Melt Blown Anthracene-Functionalized Commodity Polymers. / Jin, Kailong; Banerji, Aditya; Kitto, David; Bates, Frank S.; Ellison, Christopher J.

In: ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, Vol. 11, No. 13, 03.04.2019, p. 12863-12870.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{e7ca96a48cdb417fb0cda042837215b2,
title = "Mechanically Robust and Recyclable Cross-Linked Fibers from Melt Blown Anthracene-Functionalized Commodity Polymers",
abstract = "Melt blowing combines extrusion of a polymer melt through orifices and attenuation of the extrudate with hot high-velocity air jets to produce nonwoven fibers in a single step. Due to its simplicity and high-throughput nature, melt blowing produces more than 10{\%} of global nonwovens ({\^a}$50 billion market). Semicrystalline thermoplastic feedstock, such as poly(butylene terephthalate), polyethylene, and polypropylene, have dominated the melt blowing industry because of their facile melt processability and thermal/chemical resistance; other amorphous commodity thermoplastics (e.g., styrenics, (meth)acrylates, etc.) are generally not employed because they lack one or both characteristics. Cross-linking commodity polymers could enable them to serve more demanding applications, but cross-linking is not compatible with melt processing, and it must be implemented after fiber formation. Here, cross-linked fibers were fabricated by melt blowing linear anthracene-functionalized acrylic polymers into fibers, which were subsequently cross-linked via anthracene-dimerization triggered by either UV light or sunlight. The resulting fibers possessed nearly 100{\%} gel content because of highly efficient anthracene photodimerization in the solid state. Compared to the linear precursors, the anthracene-dimer cross-linked acrylic fibers exhibited enhanced thermomechanical properties suggesting higher upper service temperatures (∼180 °C), showing promise for replacing traditional thermoplastic-based melt blown nonwovens in certain applications. Additionally, given the dynamic nature of the anthracene-dimer cross-links at elevated temperatures (> ∼180 °C), the resulting cross-linked fibers could be effectively recycled after use, providing new avenues toward sustainable nonwoven products.",
keywords = "anthracene-dimerization, cross-linked fibers, melt blowing, nonwoven, reversible bonds",
author = "Kailong Jin and Aditya Banerji and David Kitto and Bates, {Frank S.} and Ellison, {Christopher J}",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "3",
doi = "10.1021/acsami.9b00209",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "11",
pages = "12863--12870",
journal = "ACS applied materials & interfaces",
issn = "1944-8244",
publisher = "American Chemical Society",
number = "13",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Mechanically Robust and Recyclable Cross-Linked Fibers from Melt Blown Anthracene-Functionalized Commodity Polymers

AU - Jin, Kailong

AU - Banerji, Aditya

AU - Kitto, David

AU - Bates, Frank S.

AU - Ellison, Christopher J

PY - 2019/4/3

Y1 - 2019/4/3

N2 - Melt blowing combines extrusion of a polymer melt through orifices and attenuation of the extrudate with hot high-velocity air jets to produce nonwoven fibers in a single step. Due to its simplicity and high-throughput nature, melt blowing produces more than 10% of global nonwovens (â$50 billion market). Semicrystalline thermoplastic feedstock, such as poly(butylene terephthalate), polyethylene, and polypropylene, have dominated the melt blowing industry because of their facile melt processability and thermal/chemical resistance; other amorphous commodity thermoplastics (e.g., styrenics, (meth)acrylates, etc.) are generally not employed because they lack one or both characteristics. Cross-linking commodity polymers could enable them to serve more demanding applications, but cross-linking is not compatible with melt processing, and it must be implemented after fiber formation. Here, cross-linked fibers were fabricated by melt blowing linear anthracene-functionalized acrylic polymers into fibers, which were subsequently cross-linked via anthracene-dimerization triggered by either UV light or sunlight. The resulting fibers possessed nearly 100% gel content because of highly efficient anthracene photodimerization in the solid state. Compared to the linear precursors, the anthracene-dimer cross-linked acrylic fibers exhibited enhanced thermomechanical properties suggesting higher upper service temperatures (∼180 °C), showing promise for replacing traditional thermoplastic-based melt blown nonwovens in certain applications. Additionally, given the dynamic nature of the anthracene-dimer cross-links at elevated temperatures (> ∼180 °C), the resulting cross-linked fibers could be effectively recycled after use, providing new avenues toward sustainable nonwoven products.

AB - Melt blowing combines extrusion of a polymer melt through orifices and attenuation of the extrudate with hot high-velocity air jets to produce nonwoven fibers in a single step. Due to its simplicity and high-throughput nature, melt blowing produces more than 10% of global nonwovens (â$50 billion market). Semicrystalline thermoplastic feedstock, such as poly(butylene terephthalate), polyethylene, and polypropylene, have dominated the melt blowing industry because of their facile melt processability and thermal/chemical resistance; other amorphous commodity thermoplastics (e.g., styrenics, (meth)acrylates, etc.) are generally not employed because they lack one or both characteristics. Cross-linking commodity polymers could enable them to serve more demanding applications, but cross-linking is not compatible with melt processing, and it must be implemented after fiber formation. Here, cross-linked fibers were fabricated by melt blowing linear anthracene-functionalized acrylic polymers into fibers, which were subsequently cross-linked via anthracene-dimerization triggered by either UV light or sunlight. The resulting fibers possessed nearly 100% gel content because of highly efficient anthracene photodimerization in the solid state. Compared to the linear precursors, the anthracene-dimer cross-linked acrylic fibers exhibited enhanced thermomechanical properties suggesting higher upper service temperatures (∼180 °C), showing promise for replacing traditional thermoplastic-based melt blown nonwovens in certain applications. Additionally, given the dynamic nature of the anthracene-dimer cross-links at elevated temperatures (> ∼180 °C), the resulting cross-linked fibers could be effectively recycled after use, providing new avenues toward sustainable nonwoven products.

KW - anthracene-dimerization

KW - cross-linked fibers

KW - melt blowing

KW - nonwoven

KW - reversible bonds

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85063887292&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85063887292&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1021/acsami.9b00209

DO - 10.1021/acsami.9b00209

M3 - Article

VL - 11

SP - 12863

EP - 12870

JO - ACS applied materials & interfaces

JF - ACS applied materials & interfaces

SN - 1944-8244

IS - 13

ER -