Two-component fibrous materials based on poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB, Tm
= 160 °C) and poly(ε-caprolactone) (PCL, Tm
= 60 °C) were successfully fabricated by dual-jet electrospinning of their separate spinning solutions. The desired alignment of the fibers that compose PHB/PCL mats was achieved by using three types of rotating collectors—drum (smooth), blade and grid. Additional fiber alignment in the direction of collector rotation was achieved by rotating at 2200 rpm. Moreover, the selected concentration of PCL spinning solution resulted in fibers with spindle-like defects along their length. Thus, “segment” sealing of the PHB (high-melting) fibers by the molten PCL (low-melting) fibers/defects sites was achieved after heating the PHB/PCL mats above the melting temperature (Tm
) of PCL. The surface morphology, thermal behavior and mechanical properties of the PHB/PCL mats before and after thermal treatment were characterized by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy, differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and mechanical tests. The results indicated that regardless of the cutting direction of the specimens (0° or 90°), thermal treated PHB/PCL mats reveal enhanced mechanical properties. Therefore, this work provides an easily feasible route for the fabrication of electrospun PHB/PCL mats with tunable mechanical properties and improved performance.
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