Long fiber-reinforced thermoplastics are highly popular as they combine comparably low material cost, efficient production processes, e.g. injection molding, and good mechanical properties. In this study, we analyze the µCT-scan of a glass fiber-reinforced polypropylene with a complex microstructure of fibers, polymer, and pores. The manufacturing process, leading to three layers with different fiber orientations, further increases the complexity of the microstructure. The sample is analyzed digitally to thoroughly understand this intricate microstructure.
First, the fibers in the scan are identified using Artificial Intelligence. Among other analyses, the fiber orientation is examined also through the thickness of the scan. This shows the typical three-layer structure of injection molded materials. Then, the pores are identified using a watershed-based algorithm and their shape, diameter, and location are analyzed. We find that the voids are mainly located in the inner region, where the fibers do not align with the flow direction.
Speaker: Aaron Widera, M.Sc. / Math2Market GmbH