Electrospinning of several polyamides, PA6, PA66, PA612, PA614, PA1012, and PA1014, having different chain compositions and lengths of diacid and diamine segments, was demonstrated. Electrospinnability and fiber production rate of these polyamides were evaluated. Electrospun fibers were characterized with regard to their use in air filtration by measuring fiber diameter and filtration efficiency of fiber coating. Longer nonpolar chain segments of higher polyamides could in theory indicate higher dielectricity compared to PA6 and PA66, which would be an advantage in filtration applications. The solubility in polar formic acid and electrospinnability of higher polyamides, on the other hand, were clearly impaired with increased length of chain segments. Hence, PA66 is our best choice, and PA612 and PA6 our second options for commercial filtration applications if fiber electrospinnability, production rate, fiber diameter, and its distribution are concerned. Filtration efficiency of more than 95% of the particles having a diameter of 0.16 μm and above was achieved with 0.5 g/m2 coating of PA66 nanofibers. Further increase in coating weight mainly increased the pressure drop to an unusable range without a significant further improvement of filtration efficiency.
- air filtration