Effects of D-lactide content and molecular weight on the morphological, thermal, and mechanical properties of electrospun nanofiber polylactide mats

Palak H., Guler E., Nofar M., Karagüzel Kayaoğlu B.

JOURNAL OF INDUSTRIAL TEXTILES, vol.51, no.2_suppl, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 51 Issue: 2_suppl
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/15280837221090260
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Compendex
  • Keywords: Polylactide, D-lactide, molecular weight, nanofibers, electrospinning, POLY(LACTIC ACID), FIBERS, FABRICATION, POLYMER, PLA, CARVACROL, SOLVENTS, NANOMATERIALS, FILTRATION, MEMBRANES
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: Yes


In this study, the effects of both D-lactide content, that is, the change in PLA crystallizability, and molecular weight of polylactide (PLA) on its electrospinning behavior, along with thermal and mechanical properties of the electrospun mats were investigated. Although the effect of D-lactide content on processability of PLA has been studied in extrusion, thermoforming, foaming, and melt spinning, it has not been explored in electrospinning. The current study aimed to analyze electrospinnability of three different PLA grades; two amorphous with high and low molecular weights (i.e., aPLA-H and aPLA-L) and a semicrystalline with a high molecular weight (cPLA-H). PLAs were dissolved at different concentrations in chloroform (CHL)/dimethylformamide (DMF) at various volume ratios. Due to its high crystallizability and molecular weight, coarser nanofibers of cPLA-H were produced from solvents with high CHL content (>= 75%), resulting in highest water vapor transmission rate (50,000 g/m(2).day) of mats. aPLA-H revealed coarser nanofibers than that of aPLA-L due to its higher molecular entanglement. Although the increase in DMF content in the solvent hindered dissolving and electrospinning of cPLA-H, it caused the refinement of nanofibers in amorphous PLAs. Despite similar tensile strength, cPLA-H showed higher elongation at break (similar to 69%) than that of aPLA-H (similar to 59%) possibly due to the existence of some beads within the fibers in aPLA-H. Storage modulus of electrospun cPLA-H was also higher (similar to 15MPa) than that of other samples (similar to 10-12 MPa) due to high content of crystallinity (similar to 37%) while aPLA-L revealed the lowest storage modulus (similar to 10MPa) due to its amorphous structure and low molecular entanglement.