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Division of Polymer Science

Department of Chemistry

and Polymer Science

University of Stellenbosch

Private Bag X1


South Africa

Telephone: +27 (21) 808 3172


Student enquiries

+27(21) 808 3172


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GPS Coordinates:

S 33° 55' 58" E 18° 51' 59"

Equipment available at Polymer Science

Last revision: 13 November, 2020




Single needle, “Nanospider” and ball electrospinning apparatus

Single needle electrospinning apparatus

Single needle electrospinning apparatus

Room: 1006

"Nanospider"electrospinning apparatus

Responsible person: Prof PE Mallon

Electrospinning is a simple process that allows for the processing of polymer materials into polymer nanofibres. This is achieved by applying a high voltage to a polymer solution. The polymer solution is contained in a reservoir (syringe) and is fed to the steel needle tip (spinneret) by a pump. A high voltage is then applied to the tip of the needle and a grounded collector plate is placed a certain distance from the needle.

The potential difference between the spinneret and the collector plate induces an electrostatic charge gradient. The charged droplet of polymer solution at the needle tip then deforms into what is called a Taylor cone. When the forces built over the droplet overcome the surface tension of the solution, the polymer solution forms a jet that stretches and whips from the charged needle tip to the grounded collector plate. The solvent evaporates during this stretching of the polymer jet and ultrafine polymer fibres are collected on the earthed collector. The bending of the fibre jet as it accelerates towards the target collector results in the reduction of the fibre diameter, every time this whipping action occurs.


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