(EMI Twente director, Tymen Visser, with EMI Twente's spinning experts Erik Rolevink and Herman Teunis. More photos below.)
EMI Twente is pleased to announce the arrival of their new custom-made Hollow Fiber Spinline. After more than 12 months of planning, designing and building, the new 7.5 m long, ca. 1.7 ton piece of equipment is ready for installation in the spinning lab. The spinline can fabricate single and dual-layer hollow fiber membranes from polymer solutions in any relevant dimension. These membranes may then be used in various applications such as micro- and ultra-filtration, gas separation and dialysis.
EMI Twente awarded the project to the internal workshop TCO (Techno Centrum voor Onderwijs en Onderzoek) at the University of Twente and intensively collaborated with them to convert their ideas into reality.
The new equipment has the ability to co-extrude two polymer solutions or spin with a shell liquid using a triple orifice spinneret at rates of up to 50 m/min. The dope, bore and shell liquid temperatures may be up to 70 oC. The bore and shell liquid solutions are mixed inline using Coriolis type liquid flow controllers allowing to change the composition during the experiment without the need of stopping it. There is also the option to extrude solutions which include particles, e.g. metal organic frameworks, ceramics or carbon using high-pressure syringe pumps. Polymer mixing, filtration and degassing before spinning are integrated within the set-up. Filter pressure measurement is included to monitor the quality of filtration and for protection of the filter and spinneret.
Much thought went into creating a controlled spinning environment. Spinning parameters such as the coagulation bath temperature (up to 70 oC) and gas flow within the chimney (0.1 - 2 L/min) are controlled electronically and the air gap height (0-40 cm) is adjusted manually. External influences, such as stable air gap conditions, are minimized during spinning due to the housing surrounding the chimney area.
There is also an option to integrate deionization of tap water. The wheels and fiber-guiding system in the rinsing bath allow for multiple passes of the fiber to extend rinsing time. Once fibers have been spun and rinsed an integrated custom-made winding machine allows the production of larger batches of fiber bundles of maximally two meters in length. A digital data logging system has been incorporated to record and monitor all data from each spinning session.
EMI Twente is looking forward to spinning many miles of membrane solutions.
Interested in this spinline for a potential collaboration in the field of hollow fiber membrane product development? Or would you like to start R&D activities within your company in the field of hollow fiber membranes? Please contact Tymen Visser for more information.