Glass fibre reinforcements form the backbone of a composites industry. Possibly the most critical component involved in the manufacture of glass fibres and their composites is the fibre sizing. Yet because of the intense level of secrecy surrounding size formulations there are few who have more than a superficial understanding of sizings. Composite developers and researchers have a growing need for practical tools which can assist with the understanding of the nature and role of sizings on the glass fibres which reinforce their composites. This work reviews some of the most relevant articles from the widely dispersed literature around the analysis and characterisation of these polymeric sizings. The review covers the analysis and characterisation of the polymeric sizing layer on the glass fibre surface using high vacuum surface analysis techniques, thermal analysis, atomic force microscopy based techniques, surface energy analysis, infrared methods, and combined multiple analysis techniques. The conclusions highlight the fragmented nature of the knowledge base on sizings and the lack of reliable and reproducible reference materials on which to build real progress in the understanding of this critical technology.
- glass fibre
- surface properties