Validation of an Image Analysis Method for Evaluating the Chemical Resistance of Glass Fibers to Alkaline Environments

Materials (Basel). 2021 Dec 27;15(1):161. doi: 10.3390/ma15010161.


This article is focused on the comparison of the reliability of the results obtained by image analysis (newly proposed evaluation method) with well-known methods of evaluation of long-term corrosion resistance of glass fibers in an alkaline environment (pH > 12). The developed method is based on the analysis of scanning electron microscopy images (diameter and structures on the fiber surface). An experiment (52 weeks) was performed to evaluate two types of glass fibers: anticorrosive glass fibers (ARGFs) and E-glass fibers (EGFs). Three media were used to treat the fibers (23 ± 2 °C): H2O, Ca(OH)2, and K2SiO3. The ARGFs' tensile strength did not reduce; a decrease by 68% was observed for EGFs in H2O. Tensile strength decreased by 32% and 85-95% in K2SiO3; by 50% and 64% in Ca(OH)2 for the ARGF and EGF, respectively. Statistical analysis was performed to validate the reliability and plausibility of the developed method. ARGFs and EGFs did not show any relationship between the fiber diameter and weight in H2O; however, the linear trends may predict this relationship in Ca(OH)2 and K2SiO3. For the ARGF and EGF, the cubic trend was suitable for predicting the change in fiber weight and diameter over time in Ca(OH)2 and K2SiO3.

Keywords: alkaline environment; corrosion process; fiber tensile strength; fiber weight loss; glass fiber; image analysis.