Particle Shape Analysis Using Digital Image Processing

Particle Shape Analysis Using Digital Image Processing

Katia Tannous (University of Campinas, Brazil) and Fillipe de Souza Silva (School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Campinas, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7368-5.ch028

Abstract

This chapter will discuss new software, Particles and Geometric Shapes Analyzer (APOGEO), aiming the determination of aspect ratio and sphericity of solid particles by image processing technique without any manual work. This software can quantify the major and minor axes correlating two or three dimensions of particles (e.g., biomass, mineral, pharmaceutical, and food products) to obtain their shape. The particles can be associated with different geometries, such as rectangular parallelepiped, cylinder, oblate and prolate spheroids, and irregular. The results are presented in histograms and tables, but also can be saved in a spreadsheet.
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Background

The influence of biomass particle shapes cannot be ignored in particle transportation, mixing and fluidization processes. Various particle shapes result in different particle surface areas, in which are heat and mass transfer processes (Guo et al., 2012). Rodriguez et al. (2013) have presented a review about different methods and techniques to determine the geometrical shape of the particles. The authors observed that there is no agreement on the usage of the descriptors and is not clear which descriptor is the best. A large scale shape classification has been a problem. In addition, the authors considered that image analysis is a promising tool; it presents advantages like low time consumption or repeatability.

When non-spherical solid particles are observed through a microscope, various methods can be used for their sizing, resulting in terms of an equivalent spherical particle. Projected images in microscopes (optical, scanning and transmission) are in two-dimensional and depend on the orientation of the particles (Turbitt-Daoust, Alliet, Kaye, & Matchett, 2000). Particles in a stable orientation tend to have a maximum area causing microscopic measurements larger values than those presented by other methods, i.e., when smaller particle sizes are discarded.

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