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Glass Fiber Composite Specimen Preparation

Glass reinforced composites are very useful materials, however microstructural preparation can be tricky. The best approach is to minimize the amount of cracking and chipping in the fibers as early in the preparation stage as is practical. This is accomplished by starting with 320 grit SiC or finer. For rough and final polishing, the use of a resilient polishing pad such as Black Chem, in combination with polycrystalline diamond and SIMAT colloidal silica produce a damage free surface ready for examination.

SECTIONING

Diamond Wafering blade - medium grit / low concentration

MOUNTING
Castable Mounting with Epoxy or Acrylic resins

POLISHING

Abrasive/surface

Lubricant

Force/ sample

Speed
(Head/base)

Time

320 grit SiC paper
600 grit SiC paper

Water

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

Until plane
1 minute

6 um DIAMAT diamond on TEXPAN polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

3 minutes

1 um DIAMAT diamond on ATLANTIS polishing pad

DIALUBE Purple Extender

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

2 minutes

0.05 um Nanometer alumina on NAPPAD polishing pad

 

5-10 lbs

100/100 rpm

1 minute


Metallographic micrograph of longitudial glass fibers

Longitudinal glass fiber orientation, 100X

Metallographic micrograph of cross section glass fibers
Transverse glass fiber orientation, 500X
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