Micro-CT Applications for Fiber-Reinforced Plastics

Fiber characterization and orientation analysis

Fibrous structures occur frequently in both natural and synthetic materials. With micro-CT, it is possible to analyze individual fiber properties (such as diameter), and orientation distribution. With several software tools, in-depth geometric characterization of fibers is possible. “The interface between fiber and matrix material in composites and characterization of breakage mechanism is also of particular interest in regards to micro-CT, not in the least because of the inherently non-destructive nature of the technique.”

READ MORE on using micro-CT for fiber analysis, from Bruker.


X-ray computed tomography of polymer composites

The technical aspects relating to micro-CT imaging of composites are discussed, such as obtaining sufficient contrast, examination of thin panels, sample size/resolution issues, quantification of damage and defects, and image-based modeling. Micro-CT scanning provides highly accurate 3D examination of fiber architectures, manufacturing defects, and in-service damage accumulation, without cross-sectioning. “The capability of micro-CT to provide important information is considered across applications ranging from manufacturing processes, through tensile and compression loading to fatigue and impact damage.”

READ MORE on using micro-CT for studying fiber architectures and polymer composites, from Science Direct.


Voids in fiber-reinforced polymer composites: A review on their formation, characteristics, and effects on mechanical performance

Micro-CT is an established method for quality control in industrial production. Voids may be the most concerning type of manufacturing defect, forming very often in processing of fiber-reinforced composites. Due to their considerable influence on physical and thermomechanical properties of composites, voids have been extensively studied. “The effect of voids on a broad range of mechanical properties, including inter-laminar shear, tensile, compressive, and flexural strength as well as fracture toughness and fatigue life, is appraised.”

READ MORE on using micro-CT for the study of voids in fiber-reinforced composites, from the Journal of Composite Materials

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