Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

An evaluation of the scanning electron microscope mirror effect to study viscoelastically prestressed polymeric matrix composites

Ge, Chao; Wang, Bing; Fancey, Kevin S.


Chao Ge


A viscoelastically prestressed polymeric matrix composite (VPPMC) is produced by applying tensile creep to polymeric fibres, the creep load being removed before the fibres are moulded into a resin matrix. Following matrix curing, the viscoelastically strained fibres impart compressive stresses to the surrounding matrix, counterbalanced by residual tension in the fibres. VPPMCs based on nylon 6,6 fibres in polyester resin have previously demonstrated improvements in mechanical properties of up to 50% compared with control (unstressed) counterparts. Although the associated viscoelastic recovery forces are understood, little is known of the fibre-matrix interactions relating to prestress within VPPMCs. This is addressed by investigating composite samples with the scanning electron microscope mirror effect (SEMME). By comparing results from VPPMC samples with their control counterparts, the findings suggest that there are ∼30% fewer trapped negative charges in the former, implying that the VPPMCs possess higher fibre-matrix interfacial strengths. Tensile test results on similar composite samples support these findings. The effects of resin porosity in SEMME data are also evaluated and our findings suggest that porosity can significantly increase charge trapping.


Ge, C., Wang, B., & Fancey, K. S. (2017). An evaluation of the scanning electron microscope mirror effect to study viscoelastically prestressed polymeric matrix composites. Materials Today Communications, 12, 79-87.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 6, 2017
Online Publication Date Jul 13, 2017
Publication Date 2017-09
Deposit Date Aug 3, 2017
Publicly Available Date Jan 14, 2019
Journal Materials Today Communications
Print ISSN 2352-4928
Electronic ISSN 2352-4928
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Pages 79-87
Keywords Polymer-matrix composites (PMCs); Scanning electron microscopy (SEM); Interface; Fibre-matrix bonding; Residual stress; Viscoelasticity
Public URL
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Materials Today Communications, 2017. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.


You might also like

Downloadable Citations