High Resolution X-ray Computed Tomography for Quantitative Characterization of Fiber Reinforced Polymers and Heterogeneous Light Metals

We report on the application of high resolution X-ray computed tomography (CT) for the characterization of various fiber reinforced polymeric materials (carbon, glass, basalt and cellulose fiber reinforced polymer) and light metal alloys like AlCuMg and AlZnMgCu. Due to their outstanding properties these materials are widely used in automotive, aeronautic, electronic, building, textile and leisure industry. We compare the different polymeric and light metal systems and discuss the advantages and restrictions of CT for their characterization. From the CT-data quantitative data can be extracted. For instance, the CT-data of a glass fiber reinforced polymer is processed by several consecutive steps to get fiber length distribution, fiber orientation or fiber content. For the light metal alloys 3D arrangement and morphology of the dendritic structure and the different phases are analyzed. Phase identification is performed by energy dispersive X-ray analysis.

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