Confocal microscopy measurement of the fiber orientation in short fiber reinforced plastics
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To determine three-dimensional fiber orientation states in injection-molded short fiber composites a CLSM (Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope) is used. Since the CLSM optically sections the composites, more than two cross-sections either on or below the surface of the composite can be obtained. Three dimensional fiber orientation states can be determined with geometric parameters of fibers on two parallel cross-sections. For experiment, carbon fiber reinforced polystyrene is examined by the CLSM. Geometric parameters of fibers are measured by image analysis. In order to compactly describe fiber orientation states, orientation tensors are used. Orientation tensors are determined at different positions of the prepared specimen. Three dimensional orientation states are obtained without the difficulty in determining the out-of-plane angles by utilizing images on two parallel planes acquired by the CLSM. Orientation states are different at different positions and show the shell-core structure along the thickness of the specimen.
KeywordsConfocal laser scanning microscopy Injection molding Fiber orientation Orientation tensor Image processing
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