Developing Polyaniline Filled Isoprene Composite Fibers by Electrospinning: Effect of Filler Concentration on the Morphology and Glass Transition
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Abstract: Sub micron and nano level fibers are produced from the polymer melts by applying an external electric field during electrospinning; however very few studies are reported on elastomer scaffolds formed by this method. Due to its remarkable mechanical properties and sustainable production, natural rubber (NR) is much important in civil engineering and automotive industry. In this paper we report two sets of isoprene composites; one composed of NR and the other with styrene-isoprene-styrene (SIS) elastomer, filled with conducting polyaniline (PANI) particles. Electrospinning was applied to develop the composite fibers; the structure and morphology of these fibers were compared with the solution casting process as well. The PANI particles were synthesized by the in situ polymerization and found to be of micro dimension. Electrospinning induced a strong orientation of polymeric chains when compared to the randomly oriented chains of solution casted films. The influence of electrospinning on the amorphous properties of the elastomer composites and glass transition temperatures were also investigated.