Automated image analysis of microstructure changes in metal alloys

Mohammed E. Hoque, Ralph M. Ford, John T. Roth

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The ability to identify and quantify changes in the microstructure of metal alloys is valuable in metal cutting and shaping applications. For example, certain metals, after being cryogenically and electrically treated, have shown large increases in their tool life when used in manufacturing cutting and shaping processes. However, the mechanisms of microstructure changes in alloys under various treatments, which cause them to behave differently, are not yet fully understood. The changes are currently evaluated in a semi-quantitative manner by visual inspection of images of the microstructure. This research applies pattern recognition technology to quantitatively measure the changes in microstructure and to validate the initial assertion of increased tool life under certain treatments. Heterogeneous images of aluminum and tungsten carbide of various categories were analyzed using a process including background correction, adaptive thresholding, edge detection and other algorithms for automated analysis of microstructures. The algorithms are robust across a variety of operating conditions. This research not only facilitates better understanding of the effects of electric and cryogenic treatment of these materials, but also their impact on tooling and metal-cutting processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number02
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2005
EventProceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging - Machine Vision Applications in Industrial Inspection XIII - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 17 2005Jan 18 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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