Effects of Solvent Type and Process Parameters on Electrospinnability of Zein through Orthogonal Experimental Design
Electrospinning of zein from its solution with a non-toxic solvent is not easy. It certainly requires understanding the effects of critical parameters during electrospinning. In this paper, the first aim was to understand how the morphology and diameters of fibers produced from zein solutions were affected by solvent type used in solution and process parameters (flow-rate, voltage, and distance) by using Taguchi’s orthogonal design. For this purpose, the optimum levels of factors were determined as follows: 12 kV of voltage, 15 µL/min of flow rate, 10 cm of distance, and acetic acid as solvent in order to obtain the thinnest, bead-free nanofiber. Secondly, this combination was further validated by conducting a confirmatory experiment using five different zein concentrations to study the effect of concentration. The mean diameters of fibers with 24 % zein concentrations were found as similar to the optimum conditions estimated, proving the applicability of Taguchi’s method for electrospinning optimization.
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