Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS)

DoITPoMS Micrograph Library Full Record for Micrograph 627

Full Record for Micrograph 627

Micrograph no
Brief description
Glass fibre reinforced thermoplastic matrix composite
composite material Link to MATTER Glossary entry for composite material, fracture Link to MATTER Glossary entry for fracture, glass fibres Link to MATTER Glossary entry for glass fibres, impact, matrix Link to MATTER Glossary entry for matrix, melting, polymer Link to MATTER Glossary entry for polymer, polypropylene (PP), reinforcement Link to MATTER Glossary entry for reinforcement, thermoplastic
Composite, Fracture
Glass fibre composite
Polypropylene matrix with glass fibre
Standard codes
An approximately symmetrical laminate was made from five plies of woven rovings and consolidated at 180 degrees C for 15 minutes
Thermoplastic matrix composites have superior impact absorption properties because of the plastic behaviour of the matrix
Sample preparation
The specimen has been shot with a ball bearing, at a velocity of approx 300ms-1, impact kinetic energy=31J
Scanning electron microscopy (SEM)
Length bar
200 μm
Further information
This is an image of part of the crater on the impact side of the laminate. There is evidence of the fibres bowing around the impact site. As they reach their elastic limit, fracture of the glass fibres themselves has occurred, with flat, perpendicular surfaces, indicating brittle failure. It is also clear, however, that the matrix has not only behaved plastically, but has even undergone local melting, resulting in strings and globules, although more angular surfaces indicate brittle fracture of the matrix towards the left of the image, further from the impact centre.
H J Scott
Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge
Licence for re-use
DoITPoMS standard terms of use
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