“Synthetic fibres” (also known as man-made or manufactured fibres) are artificially produced or enhanced through chemical synthesis and polymerisation, and include carbon, glass, ceramic, aramid, basalt and textile fibres such as polyester and nylon.

Manufacturing processes tend to result in fibres with regular size, length and cross-sectional area, and although the individual fibres may be brittle or fragile they perform extremely well as part of composite materials. The fragility of the fibres creates unique challenges for handling, sample mounting and testing.