Scanning Microscopy


Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examination of high modulus polyethylene (HMPE) fibres gives rise to a number of artifacts which are here recognized. Antistatic agents may be successfully used for the observation of the woven fibres, but only in conjunction with an intermediate metallic coating. For isolated threads superior results are obtained with the metallic coating alone.

New SEM evidence suggests that the high density of surface cracks produced by plasma treatment of HMPE fibres is associated with an aging process. This can also be activated by mechanical energy or storage at room conditions.

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