First, take a look at the photo below,
before you watch this short video.
The photo shows what seems like one big
fiber. But you see all those small fibers hanging off it's sides?
Turns out that large fiber is just a collection of tiny ones. This
happens when a long fiber forms but hangs on for a few seconds. Short
fibers are continually formed and stick to it, and eventually forms
what looks like a thick fiber but really isn't.
I wanted to point that out before you
see the video because you can see it happening if you look close.
Also look real close at the material as
it comes out of the emitter. You can see dark particles streaming
into the center of the fiber. Those are carbon nanotubes I spiked the
mixture with. The idea was to strengthen the material produced. And
Sort of, anyway.
Now watch the video, then I'll finish
I ran this mixture through the
ultrasonic cleaner a few times to mix it up well. Which it did. The
problem is the CNT's tend to stick together in clumps, and those
clumps weren't broken up enough or simply reformed. I think what I
need to do next time is add a small drop of mineral oil to CNT's to
keep them from doing that. Stay tuned for how that turns out.
To make the mat stronger ideally I'd
want the CNT's running the same direction as the fiber. If they're
all mixed up and pointing wherever they feel like it it won't be as
strong for a given amount of CNT's. That's the entire reason right
there why you need to electrospin the stuff. The shear forces as they
enter the Taylor cone gets them into that alignment. The clumps did
that to a small degree, and the mat's stronger for it. But nowhere
near where it would be had they not clumped up.
One other thing I'd like to note, and
that is that with the CNT's in there it took a higher voltage to get
them to pull like I wanted them to. Like 16 to 18 kV without and
24-32kV with them.
Okay, how about the mat being stronger?
Yeah, it is. I made this one pretty thin and that plus the fact the
CNT's were in it made it a real bear to get off the plate. I tore it
up some doing that. This one is also water tight as long as you stay
away from the holes I put in it. My bad.
I can fold it up like the past one, but
it's no where near as flexible. It's pretty tough, actually, even
more so when you factor in it's average thickness mics out to .01mm.
I can't wait till I get to the part where I'm trying to make a quad
frame out of ABS and CNT's!
Not very pretty, is it? A mat only it's
daddy could love...
Again, the CNT's clumped up, and that
very much shows in it's coloring.
I don't think I'll run another one this
thin. Too hard to get off the plate. Really, what I need to do is try
this on the six rod rotary and leave as much as possible hanging off
in mid-air. At least then I might be able to get it off without
tearing it up.
And speaking of the rotary, here's some
of the fibers I ran yesterday on that rotary. Notice how the fibers
mostly run in the same direction? Love it! That's going to make a big
difference when I get back to making the fibers conductive.
One final note. Well, a tease, really.
I took a few hours and ran a 'out there' type of thing, and got
interesting results. But you'll have to wait to see what it was. I
will say it involves electrospinning and 3D printing. I have some
stuff to put together before I show it off, so you'll just have to
have patience with me. Sorry. :P