Expanded polymer beads in a polymer matrix, images in 3D using an oil immersion objective. The immersion oil layer on the top surface is visible. This experiment aimed to troubleshoot the expansion of the beads in the matrix, and clearly indicates the significant and unexpected voids within each expanded beads. Such an internal structure strongly affected the desired properties of this composite material.
Data courtesy of Dr Neil Everal, Intertek Wilton, UK.