Assessment of optimum threshold and particle shape parameter for the image analysis of aggregate size distribution of concrete sections

Ozen, Murat
Güler, Murat
Aggregate gradation is one of the key design parameters affecting the workability and strength properties of concrete mixtures. Estimating aggregate gradation from hardened concrete samples can offer valuable insights into the quality of mixtures in terms of the degree of segregation and the amount of deviation from the specified gradation limits. In this study, a methodology is introduced to determine the particle size distribution of aggregates from 2D cross sectional images of concrete samples. The samples used in the study were fabricated from six mix designs by varying the aggregate gradation, aggregate source and maximum aggregate size with five replicates of each design combination. Each sample was cut into three pieces using a diamond saw and then scanned to obtain the cross sectional images using a desktop flatbed scanner. An algorithm is proposed to determine the optimum threshold for the image analysis of the cross sections. A procedure was also suggested to determine a suitable particle shape parameter to be used in the analysis of aggregate size distribution within each cross section. Results of analyses indicated that the optimum threshold hence the pixel distribution functions may be different even for the cross sections of an identical concrete sample. Besides, the maximum ferret diameter is the most suitable shape parameter to estimate the size distribution of aggregates when computed based on the diagonal sieve opening. The outcome of this study can be of practical value for the practitioners to evaluate concrete in terms of the degree of segregation and the bounds of mixture's gradation achieved during manufacturing.