Melt blowing

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Melt blowing process

Melt blowing is a conventional fabrication method of micro- and nanofibers where a polymer melt is extruded through small nozzles surrounded by high speed blowing gas. The randomly deposited fibers form a nonwoven sheet product applicable for filtration, sorbents, apparels and drug delivery systems. The substantial benefits of melt blowing are simplicity, high specific productivity and solvent-free operation.

History[edit]

During volcanic activity a fibrous material may be drawn by vigorous wind from molten basaltic magma called Pele's hair.[1] The same phenomenon applies for melt blowing of polymers. The first research on melt blowing was a naval attempt in the USA to produce fine filtration materials for radiation measurements on drone aircraft in the 1950s.[2] Later on, Exxon Corporation developed the first industrial process based on the melt blowing principle with high throughput levels.[3]

Polymers[edit]

Polymers with thermoplastic behavior are applicable for melt blowing. The main polymer types commonly processed with melt blowing:[4]

Uses[edit]

Melt-blown fabrics have generally the same applications as other nonwoven products. The main uses of melt-blown nonwovens and other innovative approaches are as follows.[5]

Filtration[edit]

The porous nonwoven melt-blown fabrics can be used in the filtration of gaseous as well as liquid materials. These applications include water treatment, masks, air conditioning filter, etc.

Sorbents[edit]

Nonwovens are capable to retain liquids several times of their own weight. For instance, polypropylene nonwovens are ideal to recollect oil contaminations.[6][7]

Hygiene products[edit]

The high sorption efficiency of melt-blown nonwovens can be exploited in disposable diapers, sanitary napkins and other feminine hygiene products as well.[8]

Apparels[edit]

The good thermal insulation properties, the barrier behavior against fluids combined with breathability make melt-blown nonwovens a great choice for apparels even in harsh environments.

Drug delivery[edit]

Melt blowing is also capable to produce drug-loaded fibers for controlled drug delivery.[9] The high throughput rate (extrusion feeding), solvent-free operation accompanied with the increased surface area of the product make melt blowing a promising new formulation technique.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shimozuru, D. (1994). "Physical parameters governing the formation of Pele's hair and tears". Bulletin of Volcanology. 56 (3): 217–219. doi:10.1007/s004450050030.
  2. ^ Shaumbaugh, R.L. (1988). "A macroscopic view of the melt-blowing process for producing microfibers". Ind. Eng. Chem. Res. 27 (12): 2363–2372. doi:10.1021/ie00084a021.
  3. ^ Ellison CJ, Phatak A, Giles DW, Macosko CW, Bates FS (2007). "Melt blown nanofibers: Fiber diameter distributions and onset of fiber breakup". Polymer. 48 (11): 3306–3316. doi:10.1016/j.polymer.2007.04.005.
  4. ^ Dutton, K.C. (2008). "Overview and analysis of the meltblown process and parameters". Journal of Textile and Apparel, Technology and Management. 6.
  5. ^ McCulloch, J.G. (1999). "The history of the development of melt blowing technology". International Nonwovens Journal. 8.
  6. ^ Wei, Q. F.; Mather, R. R.; Fotheringham, A. F. & Yang, R. D. (2003). "Evaluation of nonwoven polypropylene oil sorbents in marine oil-spill recovery". Marine Pollution Bulletin. 46 (6): 780–783. doi:10.1016/s0025-326x(03)00042-0. PMID 12787586.
  7. ^ Sarbatly R.; Kamin, Z. & Krishnaiah D. (2016). "A review of polymer nanofibres by electrospinning and their application in oil-water separation for cleaning up marine oil spills". Marine Pollution Bulletin. 106 (1–2): 8–16. doi:10.1016/j.marpolbul.2016.03.037. PMID 27016959.
  8. ^ Wehmann, M.; Mcculloch, W.J.G. (2012). Karger-Kocsis, J., ed. Melt blowing technology In: Polypropylene: an AZ reference. Springer Science & Business Media.
  9. ^ Balogh, A.; Farkas, B.; Faragó, K.; Farkas, A.; Wagner, I.; Van Assche, I.; et al. (2015). "Melt‐blown and electrospun drug‐loaded polymer fiber mats for dissolution enhancement: A comparative study". Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. 104 (5): 1767–1776. doi:10.1002/jps.24399. PMID 25761776.
  10. ^ QDevelopment. "Melt blowing". Retrieved 1 June 2016.