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Determining the Distribution of Glass Fibers in Plastic

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000081091D
Original Publication Date: 1974-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-27
Document File: 1 page(s) / 12K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Curry, FP: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Glass fibers are added to various structural materials to enhance their strength and improve other physical characteristics. In order for glass filled materials to display uniform physical characteristics, the glass fibers must usually be distributed uniformly throughout the material. Where small glass fibers are present in injection molded thermoplastic materials, the flow of the melted plastic, especially within a narrow or complicated mold, can result in nonuniform glass distribution. However, distribution of glass in plastic is difficult to determine, due to the small size of the glass filler and the lack of contrast between the glass and plastic.

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Determining the Distribution of Glass Fibers in Plastic

Glass fibers are added to various structural materials to enhance their strength and improve other physical characteristics. In order for glass filled materials to display uniform physical characteristics, the glass fibers must usually be distributed uniformly throughout the material. Where small glass fibers are present in injection molded thermoplastic materials, the flow of the melted plastic, especially within a narrow or complicated mold, can result in nonuniform glass distribution. However, distribution of glass in plastic is difficult to determine, due to the small size of the glass filler and the lack of contrast between the glass and plastic.

Distribution of glass in injection molded thermoplastic structures can be studied using this technique. Determination of distribution is made by exposing parts to a glass etchant and then coating the etched part with a dye. The dye tends to concentrate where the glass has been etched, thus providing a visible pattern or replica of glass distribution.

Distribution within a part can be determined by sectioning the part. The surfaces of a part undergoing testing may be ground smooth prior to testing to avoid spurious data due to collection of dye at rough spots. Where the part is darkly pigmented, as with carbon, a dye of contrasting color is used, although in some instances no dye may be required after etching to render the glass distribution visible.

One method...