In this study, the physical affinity between an epoxy matrix and oxidized, unsized carbon fibers has been evaluated using Hansen solubility (cohesion) parameters (HSP). A strong physical compatibility has been shown, since their respective HSP are close. The use of a glassy carbon substrate as a model for unsized carbon fiber has been demonstrated as appropriate for the study of interactions between the materials in composite carbon fiber-epoxy systems. The HSP of glassy carbon are similar to those of carbon fibers and epoxy matrix. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.