Microscopic and macroscopic examination of fiber reinforced composite materials helps ensure the quality of the material early in the manufacturing process. Thorough material evaluations allow you to mitigate risk and save time and money.


Fiber reinforced composite materials are made from two or more materials with different physical or chemical properties that, when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. Fiber reinforced composites can be utilized to reduce weight in structural components.


Fiber reinforced composite materials

The three main groups of fiber reinforced composite materials include:

  • Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC): Consists of a polymer base combined with a fiber reinforcement
  • Metal Matrix Composite (MMC): Consists of a metal and another reinforcement material, which could be metallic or non-metallic
  • Ceramic Matrix Composite (CMC): Consists of ceramic fiber reinforcements embedded in a ceramic matrix material


Disadvantages of fiber reinforced materials

During composite manufacturing, it is possible to introduce a range of unwanted specimen defects such as micro or macrocracks, resin rich areas, porosity/voids, delamination through to fiber undulations, poor edge consolidation, and telegraphing. 


Thorough materials investigation can help you to mitigate risk and reduce future costs.


Fiber reinforced composite materials investigations

Both microscopic and macroscopic examinations are useful methods for identifying defects in fiber-reinforced composite materials. These evaluation methods coupled with computer image analysis provide both qualitative and quantitative data without damaging the integrity of the material or part. An in-depth microscopic examination is often carried out on a sample following an initial overall macroscopic examination of the part.


The Element advantage

Our composite material experts have a breadth of experience examining microscopic and macroscopic fiber-reinforced composite material samples. We work diligently alongside your business to achieve your desired results by investigating materials according to their specific tolerances and pass/fail criteria.


Contact us today for more information about our composite testing services or to request a quote.



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Composite materials provide product manufacturers with many potential advantages over more traditional materials. Understand the testing requirements involved in our in-depth article.

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