SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 1972

Automatic Methods for Analysis of Microstructures


From the viewpoint of materials engineering and quality control the significant aspects of the microstructure of a material as a whole constitute a gestalt which controls mechanical behavior. This gestalt can be specified by six stereologically valid parameters measuring phase percentage, size and spacing of particles, variability among portions of the material, general anisotropy, and degree of patternness. Raster scanning devices of either the mechanical or television type are intrinsically capable of easily measuring these six parameters. Provision for each is available in at least one of the present television scanners. Minor changes are desirable to provide this common set of measurements with all instruments and to improve accuracy.

In contrast, microarchitectural processes which identify, measure, and selectively count individual object sections require massive programming effort and areinefficient and time consuming in present computers. Selective specimen preparation and human designation of objects are preferable to machine identification. Some proposals for more efficient and more human-like machines are mentioned. Materials engineers should try to avoid these difficult processes whenever feasible.

Author Information

Moore, GA
IMR, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.
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Developed by Committee: E04
Pages: 59–80
DOI: 10.1520/STP36843S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-4610-5
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-0095-4