Scanning Microscopy


Currently, there is a wide interest in further developing long fiber reinforced composites. Due to the dependence of a material's mechanical properties to its microstructure, further development of microanalytical techniques is needed to quantify the amount of fiber. In response, a standardless technique was developed to determine the volumetric fiber content and its variation in an oriented long fiber reinforced composite. The method utilizes scanning electron microscopy to acquire backscattered electron images of polished cross-sections. The images are then processed to determine the fiber area fraction which, in this particular case, is equal to the volume fraction. The results presented fall within 10% of the nominal bulk (fabricated) fiber content with the relative precision ≈2%. A large part of this difference can be due to local variations in fiber content.

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