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A novel technique to manufacture continuous twisted yarn from aligned PAN nanofibers

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Electrospinning is a simple and yet a versatile technique to manufacture nano-fibres from a variety of materials.  At issue has been to physically manipulate the electro-spun nano-fibres due to its lack of strength and small sizes produced.  However, aligned/arrayed/bundled electro-spun nanofibers could alleviate the strength issue for some applications.  Sure enough, researchers have been able to produce aligned, arrayed, and bundled nano-fibres.  Problems remained however, in making long enough structurally uniform aligned fibres.

In a recently reported study, Dr. Seeram Ramakrishna et al described the new technique where electro-spun poly-acrylonitrile (PAN) yarn was taken from the top of the water vortex so that it could be twisted simultaneously while producing the yarn continuously.  Yarn length could be as long as required and was limited to the volume of solution available for the electro-spinning process.  The researchers claim that this new technique could open up avenues for nano-structured carbon yarn production.

[Reference: M. Yousefzadeh, M. Latifi, W-E. Teo, M. A-Tehran, and Seeram Ramakrishna; Polymer Engineering Science, 51 (2) pp. 323-329 (2011) ]