Case Study – University of Bristol

“My goal was to use micro-testing to improve the adhesion characteristics of UHMWPE and other polymeric fibres to be embedded in different polymer matrices. These high-performance polymeric fibres had an inert surface; therefore, surface treatments were required to improve the adhesion between the fibre and the matrix. After the surface modification, the fibre/matrix adhesion was tested using the LEX-IFSS module.

The challenge was working with novel materials and optimizing my test method for the LEX-IFSS. Once I understood the parameters, the testing was very straightforward and reproducible. The extensive use of the instrument meant I could train multiple colleagues across the department. I also visited Dia-Stron in late 2019/early 2020, where they provided support on the best use of the software, suggestions of different UV-curable resins that could be used and the optimal testing parameters, depending on the fibre being studied.

The only alternative method of testing these fibres would have been a UTM. The use of a UTM would have involved a complex test setup with difficult sample preparation and handling techniques. The LEX-IFSS provided a much more efficient solution for both the sample mounting and testing.”

Usman Sikander PhD Candidate – Bristol Composites Institute (BCI), Aerospace Engineering Department, University of Bristol