FIB-SEM serial sectioning nanotomography of flax fibres

Tan Sui, Hongjia Zhang, Siqi Ying, Patrick O'Brien, Alexander M. Korsunsky

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Flax fibre has a complex hierarchical structure that ensures its high specific stiffness and strength. However, flax fibres also contain defects known as nodal markings, slip lines or dislocations that limit their strength. In order to promote the possibility of using flax fibre as alternative reinforcement for composite materials to replace synthetic fibres, it is important to develop experimental approaches that allow the characterization of their multi-scale structure at nanoscale resolution. Focused Ion Beam - Scanning Electron Microscopy (FIB-SEM) serial sectioning was used to visualize the inner micro-structure of a fibre bundle and of a single flax fibre. A series of high resolution cross-section visualisations of flax fibres were obtained. A cluster of two fibers was studied. The inner pore (lumen) running through the centre of the individual fibre was distinguished. The S2 secondary wall cell layer could be identified by considering the "etching" effect during FIB milling caused by the fact the in this part of the fibre wall the fibrils are oriented almost parallel to the axial direction. The inner microstructure visualization of the flax fibre along its length offers a significant basis for cross-correlating their structural features with mechanical properties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIMECS 2015 - International MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists 2015
EditorsDavid Dagan Feng, S. I. Ao, Craig Douglas, S. I. Ao, Craig Douglas, Jeong-A Lee, S. I. Ao, Oscar Castillo
PublisherNewswood Limited
Number of pages4
ISBN (Electronic)9789881925398
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists 2015, IMECS 2015 - Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Duration: 18 Mar 201520 Mar 2015

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Engineering and Computer Science
ISSN (Print)2078-0958


ConferenceInternational MultiConference of Engineers and Computer Scientists 2015, IMECS 2015
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
CityTsimshatsui, Kowloon


  • FIB-SEM nano-tomography
  • Flax fibre
  • Microstructure


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