Polyester- and epoxy-based composites containing glass and carbon fibers were manufactured using a vacuum-assisted resin transfer molding (VARTM) process. Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy analyses were conducted to determine the interaction between fibers and matrix material. The results indicate that strong interaction was observed between carbon fiber and epoxy resin. However, weak interactions between remaining fiber-matrix occur. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) analysis was also performed to take some information about strength of interaction between fibers and matrix material. From SEM micrographs, it is concluded that the findings in SEM analysis support to that obtained in FTIR analysis. Another aim of the present work was to investigate the influence of matrix on composite properties. Hence, the strengths of composites having same reinforcement but different matrix systems in axial tension and transverse tension were compared. Short beam shear test has been conducted to characterize the interfacial strength in the composites. (C) 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.