Fiber Analysis and Identification Course

Course Details


The 3 ½ day Fiber Analysis and Identification course introduces the principles and practice of polarized light microscopy (PLM) for fiber identification of natural and man-made fibers. The course is intended for industrial and forensic scientists seeking to learn the basics of fiber analysis and identification through microscopy. Students learn time-honored, highly-specialized PLM methods that can be successfully applied to virtually all types of natural and manufactured fibers.

In addition to the core topics of polarized light microscopy, students learn to characterize and identify a variety of natural and manufactured fiber types. Techniques learned in this course can be applied to problems of industrial contamination and particle identification in industries such as pharmaceutical, food, polymers, and electronics, as well as forensic fiber analysis. The student learning outcomes are achieved through lecture/demonstration and practical exercises utilizing known and unknown fiber samples from a variety of industries. 

  • Fiber basics
  • Microscope set up
  • Refraction and refractive index
  • Principles of polarized light and polarized light microscopy
  • Identification of natural fibers
  • Identification of man-made fibers 

Upon successful completion of this course the student will be able to:

  • Set up and operate stereobinocular and polarized light microscopes
  • Explain the principles, theory, and practice of polarized light microscopy (PLM) as applied to fiber identification
  • Sample, handle, and mount fiber samples for identification
  • Characterize and identify natural and man-made fibers using a polarized light microscope

This 3 ½ day course is designed for industrial scientists who wish to learn to identify contaminant fibers, with an eye towards root cause determination. Beginning forensic scientists interested in learning the basic principles of microscopic fiber identification will also benefit from this course. This course does not cover the specialized area of asbestos analysis.

All instrumentation, materials, and supplies necessary for successful completion of this course will be provided onsite by Hooke College of Applied Sciences.

Students are expected to successfully complete a variety of tasks in the form of hands-on exercises, laboratory exercises, identifications of unknowns, and quizzes. Students are notified at the end of the course whether or not they have successfully completed the requirements of the course based on:

  • 100% Attendance
  • Class participation
  • Completion of all course material
  • Completed and signed student evaluation form

Upon successfully meeting these requirements, a student is awarded a certificate of completion and CEU credits, if available. Those who have not successfully passed the course requirements do not receive a certificate or CEU credits.

Upcoming Dates


September 24, 2019 - September 27, 2019
$1995 | 2.5 credits
T - TH | 8am - 5pm F | 8am - 12pm
Instructor: Scott F. Stoeffler
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Accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET), Hooke College of Applied Sciences provides a research-based, hands-on learning experience taught by some of the best experts in the industry. From continuing education to custom courses to professional development and undergraduate programs, Hooke College will allow you to gain the skills you need.