Automated Image Analysis

About Automated Image Analysis

In materialography, automated image analysis most often refers to digital quantitative evaluation of a microstructure image.

Quantitative measurements are typically length, width, and area, and are used for the evaluation of materialographic characteristics such as grain size, inclusions, layers, and phases or other constituents.

Digitalization of images enables the handling of high volumes of data, in order to ensure a statistical basis.

Software automation

Software automation eliminates the time-consuming process of manual identification, counting, or comparison. This can be facilitated, principally, in two different ways:

  • Advanced universal software which is typically used by experts for a large variety of analyses
  • Simpler and dedicated software that is optimized to a single or a few standardized analyses

How to Do Automated Image Analysis

Using automated image analysis to measure the dimensions of microstructural features includes six main process steps, which should be carried out and, if relevant, aligned with the applied standard.
Specimen selection

1. Specimen selection

Choosing a representative specimen that includes the information of interest

Specimen preparation

2. Specimen Preparation

Ensuring an artifact free surface which will not disturb the automatic image analyses systems

Image illumination and filtration

3. Image illumination and filtration

Enhance contrast and ensure focus

Image digitization

4. Image digitization

Transforming the analog live image into a digitalized capture

Image processing

5. Image processing

Remove disturbing information – improve image with software filters to improve contrast, for example

Image measurements and result

6. Image measurements – quantification, calculations, and result

Output from the complete analysis process

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