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This article illustrates the polymer matrices used for composite materials. It describes the use of prepeg materials in manufacturing high-performance composites. The article discusses the various infusion processes for the development of fiber-reinforced composites, namely, resin transfer molding, vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding, and resin film infusion. It explains the composite- and matrix-toughening methods for fiber-reinforced composites, such as dispersed-phase toughening and interlayer toughening. The article concludes with information on optical microscopy, which provides an insight into the micro- and macrostructure of fiber-reinforced composites.

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Brian S. Hayes, Luther M. Gammon, Introduction—Composite Materials and Optical Microscopy, Metallography and Microstructures, Vol 9, ASM Handbook, Edited By George F. Vander Voort, ASM International, 2004,

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