Researchers at the University of Texas - Pan American have published the first
results of their work utilizing Forcespinning™
Technology to fabricate polymeric nanofibers and metallic nanowires. The
article, which appears in the November issue of the peer-reviewed journal Materials
Today, was authored by Drs. Karen Lozano and Kamal Sarkar.
Taking the term revolution literally, Forcespinning™ is a patent pending
technology that utilizes centrifugal force instead of hot air or an electrostatic
charge to draw submicron fibers from liquid state materials. In the paper, the
researchers outline their astounding results including average fiber diameters
of 300 nanometers, homogenous fibers, and dramatic productivity increases. Furthermore,
they demonstrate the amazing versatility of the technology by processing a broad
range of materials from polyesters to biopolymers to pure metals.
"Nanofibers and nanowires have incredible properties and applications
in aerospace, filtration, tissue engineering, drug delivery, and nonwovens,"
says Dr. Karen Lozano. She went on to say, "We found a very unique and
simple way to process them that overcame many previous limitations, which enabled
a broader range of materials, simple and repeatable results, greater control
over fiber diameter, and unparalled productive capacity."
In 2010, Forcespinning™ received the Silver Award from The World's Best
Technology Showcase and was recognized as a 2010 Innovation That Will Change
the Way You Manufacture by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. The technology
has been licensed by the university to FibeRio Technology Corporation, a company
that recently announced the launch of the Cyclone L-1000 Series, the first commercially
available nanofiber production equipment that facilitates Forcespinning™.
FibeRio was formed to make Forcespinning™ Technology, the next generation
of nanofiber production equipment, commercially available for both research
and development and high-volume industrial applications. Originally developed
as an alternative to the electrospinning process of fabricating polymeric nanofibers,
Forcespinning™ is so thoroughly innovative that it can also process metals,
ceramics, carbon and conductive polymers in the nanoscale – all at commercial
production levels. Forcespinning™ Technology utilizes centrifugal force
rather than electrostatic force. Without electrostatic force, an entire new
realm of possibilities opens up. FibeRio currently offers the Cyclone L-1000
Series nanofiber research and development systems. Subsequent products are being
developed for commercial applications that will offer unparalleled levels of
production capacity and substrate deposition.