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I BULLETIN of the InternationalA s s o c i a t i o n of ENGINEERINGGEOLOGY N ~ 30 PARIS 1984 J


de I'Assocation Internationale de GIsOLOGIE DE L'INGENIEUR

S H A P E O F G R A I N S IN S A N D A N D C O N C R E T E AGGREGATE. CURRENT STUDIES USING IMAGE


ANALYSIS

F O R M E DES G R A I N S DE S A B L E E T G R A N U L A T S A BETONS. ETUDES ACTUELLES UTILISANT


DES ANALYSES D'IMAGE

HAGERMAN Tor H. *

Abstract

Two-dimensional, individual determination of projected sand grains have rapidly been made with the PICAP-system, a pro-
grammable picture processor. The grains are distributed in a stable position for determination, in the projection, of their
length (L), width (B), area (A) and perimeter (P). From these measurements some shape factors are derived.
The evaluation of o u r measurements of some concrete aggregates were carried out together with the Swedish Cement and
Concrete Institute. Generally, there was found to be a good correlation between the results of the image analysis of the
grains and their suitability for concrete ; flat quartzite grains being an exception. Thus, we are studying the construction
of an instrument for measuring all three grain dimensions.

R6sum6

Une ddtermination suivant deux dimensions de la projection des grains de sable a 6t6 faite rapidement selon le syst6me de
PICAP, un analyseur d'image programmable. Les grains sont distribuds dans une position stable pour la d6termination, en
projection, de leur longueur (L), largeur (B), surface (A) et pdrim&re (P). Quelques facteurs de forme ont 6t6 d6duits de ces
mesures.
Les 6valuations de nos mesures de quelques granulats ont 6t6 faites en collaboration avec l'Institut Su6dois du Ciment et du
B6ton. G6n6ralement nous avons trouv6 une bonne corrdlation entre les r6sultats de l'analyse d'images des grains et leur
qualit6 comme granulats & b6ton ; des grains plats de quartzite constituant une exception. C'est pourquoi nous sommes en
train de construire un appareil pour mesurer les trois dimensions des grains.

Two-dimensional measurement of grains Automation of the procedure was required and many test
trials were made. The result was based on image analysis
Aggregates, disintegrated material for use in mortar and with the PICAP-system (Picture Array Processor) developed
concrete, both natural products and artificially crushed at the University of Link6ping, Sweden. The "PICAP I"
materials, are commonly in the coarse fractions composed (today replaced by the very advanced "PICAP II") used an
of pieces of rock. In the fine fractions single minerals operator with 3 x 3 pixels, where the centre pixel was given
dominate in the grains. a new value depending on its surrounding pixels and accor-
ding to the programmer's specification. Digitized and quart-
In natural sand and gravel, the raw material is generally tiffed images of 64 x 64 pixels and 16 grey levels were
affected many times by air and water. The composition processed. All 4096 pixels were conceptually treated, and
and shape (and surface) of the grains can therefore vary parallel to that the 3 x 3 - operator was applied simulta-
considerably when comparing a limited fraction in diffe- neously on all pixels. For more details, see Balck, K. (1977)
rent samples. It depends on the influences o f the geological and Hagerrnan, T., Balck, K. (1980).
processes that the grains have earlier passed through. This
variation in the grain properties, particularly the shape and Before the scanning, the sample was carefully divided and
surface, have an influence on the accurate grading of the then prepared in a stable position. The PICAP I could
aggregate and therefore also on the reliable proportioning deliver analysis results from about 1000 grains in one hour.
of many high class and special concretes. In other words, The determined parameters and functions thereof are
a def'med grain size depends on the shape o f the grains. presented in Schedule 1.
Determination o f grain-shape is of great interest to many An investigation of the suitability of several Swedish aggre-
technical fields, but it has commonly been carried out gates for concrete has recently been made by the Swedish
directly by ocular (microscopical) studies. Years ago, I Cement and Concrete Research Institute (CBI), see
used two-dimensional, individual measuring for the corre- Johansson, L. and Klevbo, G. (1981). In a joint project
lation of layers in sandy sediments. The relative width several fractions of the same aggregate were studied by us
(see Fig. 2) of the projected quartz grains was found to with the aid of a research grant to Hagconsult AB from
be sufficient for identifying layers over long distances, the Swedish Council for Building Research (BFR), see
see Hagerman, T. (1936 and 1982). Hagerman, T., Balck, K. and Lilliesk61d, M. (1980).
Beyond the aggregates specified below, all concrete tested,
* H a g c o n s u l t - Hagerman Research - Ban6rgatan 37, S 115 22 a crushed, dense limestone was also PICAP-analyzed, but
STOCKHOLM, Sweden. the sample was insufficient for a concrete test. The samples
230

Schedule 1 : Image analysis of g a i n projections 3) crushed gabbro, mineral grains some mm. Fabric rec-
tilinear,
PARAMETERS
4) crushed dolerite I, mineral grains some m m . Fabric
METttOD OF DETERMINATION
ophitic,
Perimeter, P Marking of border points with reference to the 5) crushed quartzite, strongly pressed and anisotropic,
coordinate system and the weighing. 6) crushed gneiss I, mineral grains some mm, moderately
Area, A Number of picture points of the grain projec- anisotropic,
tion. 7) crushed dolerite II, rock type idem 4,
Length, L From the coordinates of the border points in P 8) crushed gneiss II, rock type idem 6.
determined max. distance. Repeated crashing sign. I1 did not give a better axial equality
Width, B The sum of max. distanceto the border on each than a simple one (I).
side of L.
For technical reasons during the shape studies, the aggregate
samples were subdivided by screening and sieving in frac-
FUNCTION THE VALUE INCREASES WITH
tions from 0.125 up to 8 mm, some timer fractions were air
Relative width, B/L Decreased elongation separated. A few aggregate samples were image analyzed
Shape, A/L 2 . . . . . in a group of up to nine fractions, but having found a suffi-
Shape, PZ~/A** Increased " (= "'compactness") cient regularity in the axiallity, and also the acuteness, the
Filling out, A/BL ~ increased roudness analyses were limited to three fractions, namely 36-78 ~m,
A 4 0.25-0.5 mm and 2-4 mm. Some examples, from the many
* Taking the circle as a unit, the function is - - . - PICAP-analyses are presented.
T 2 7r
In Fig. 1 is given a part of the grain axiallities (and the com-
p2 pactness) studied, there the difference in these functions is
A .47r evident between the natural sand and the crushed dolerite
as well as the gneiss, in the four fractions presented.
FUNCTIONS REGARDING THE BORDER ZONE* Fig. 2a and b show the distribution field of the relative
NOMENCLATURE DETERMINATION PROCEDURE width from two samples in the fraction 2 4 mm. The
OF natural sand has a very limited field while the crashed
DETERMINATION material presents a grain shape which is much more spread
out ; dependent probably on influences from the third,
Jaggedness P is compared at different magnifications
undetermined dimension.
Roughness, Skr Ratio Po/P~; P-coordinates at high resolution
and varied intervals The value of the materials studied as aggregate in concrete
Acuteness, Spl p2 l/A1 ~ OriNnal values values > 1.2 is estimated by CBI by means of the water requirement for
are disregarded various types of concrete mixes for a desired and controlled
P22/Az -+ After operation due to technical degree of workability. From the results of this investigation
shrinking-
expansion reasons it may shortly be said, as expected, that the best aggre-
gate with the minimum water requirement was the natural
* The numerical values for this functions increase with increasing sand. The crushed dolerite and gneiss have both a higher
uneveness of the border zone. and very similar water requirement respectively. These
results were in agreement with the PICAP-measured higher
axial equality and smoother border zone (Spl) for the
there ranked after their diminishing degree of inverted natural sand when compared with the values for the dolerite
compactness in the fraction 2-4 mm. and gneiss. It is similar for all of the fractions studied.
1) glaciofiuvial natural sand, In the paper by Johansson and Klevbo (1981), graphs are
2) crushed sandstone partly silicified, given (Fig. 42a, b) showing the water requirements for the

Fract 2-4 m m Fract 1-2 mm Fract .5-I n~n Fract ~ mm

.5 1.5 .5 15 .5 1 5 .5 !.5
I.]I I11 I11 I11 I~II NI
,I ~J,I I:t,[ I~I I I]I i1~ i I ~II Natural
l; //// sand

I]1 t',11 I~I I I]I I~I I I~I I 91 Dolerite I


9 / / ,, ', N

11 III
(;, iif II~li i
II I.I I Dolerite II
, f i i

iI:11
Ji I11
i I~11 I
1,1
I~I I
III
I~I Ii
11
Gneiss I
/;; :J', lIT
/ :
11 Eli I~tl tl Gneiss II

A/L 2 p2/A A/L 2 p2/A A/L 2 p2/a A/L 2


p2/a

F~.I: Four fractions of PICAP-measured axiallity in projected grains of three different aggregates. Median (x) and quartiles axe presented.
Note the good inverted coincidence between A/L 2 and P2/L and also the better equaxiallity for the rock crushed only once (I),
fraction 1-2 ram, compared with the sample crushed twice (II).
231

Natural Sand Gneiss II


IlL ~lu ~0 0r P~ITICLE$ {Ml$

, ~...

r <~:: :~jx 0 = r- ~' ; ;' : - : 'J,z__.


9 '
; ~ 2:7- . . .-- .r' ~- -: I~' , . -
- : .': - ' i - , ,, a" T--x-'Z,

o.~o i "~.',-"--'__=~ 0,~ , .~t--7,',..A~2-4;r'-~:. ~.-_..a...~


I i <!-L-.~2~;~-:<.L, t !.
t r

0..~
I ' i

~ i I'l
o.~ t: 1 ]". ~ L ~174 i ~ i ~
0.0 2,0 ~.0 6.0 I.O lg.O Pg~ 0.0 2.0 ~.G I.O |.0 lO.O

Fig. 2a and b : Relative width graphs (B/L to L).


Example of two B/L graphs from the same sieved size fraction (2-4 mm). Note that the shapes of the gneiss grains are much
more spread out than that of the natural sand. Possibly effect of the third dimension or/and spiring in the sieving operation.

~o.7
9 t
A/p2
FRACTION

\
]
0.25
I

I
-

..
0.5 MM

l >. ~
i .~
,,>o_~
i94
'
~.~o.,o /p2? I

;, o,8o-
t
.~ o , 7 5 -
"a
FRACTION

I
2

"- 4 Nld

"m

03

\[ \ I L92 9 0,65~ 92

0.6 ~ ~d 0,60- -- 91
~. Dr3 sub ta ~" I I ~ Dry <
0,5 in f r e , conlret, 0.55- in %

~ 0.5 I t
. +f.._._

I t
i
189
90

~ O,SO~' "
.,- - ~ ,~.. 90

69

., 9 9 - Z
9 g -'.., ~ .- _, ,
- ....
I., m ~ W
9 =, g ,. g ~-

Fig. 3a ~ ~ u. . v . u. . ~J . L) ~J
Fi.i . 3b r U r ~ U t,a

Fig. 3a and b : Rock types ranked after diminishing values in the f'me fraction for A/P 2 (inverted compactness) and presented with degree of
axial equality, A/L 2. Modified graphs based on CB[ FO 1.81, Fig. 42a, b. (Cr. =crushed).
3a. Relative good correlation between A/L 2 and the dry substance graph excepting for quartzite. Fraction 0.25-0.5 mm.
3b. Relative good correlation excepting for the quartzite, very flaky in this and adjacent fractions. Fraction 2-4 mm.

fresh concrete made with the above mentioned aggregates Projecting a New Instrument : "PICAP-Sandy"
and compared with the PICAP-measured B/L, A/L" and the
compactions p2/A, for two of the grain fractions. In our
Fig. 3a and b the axiallity graph, A/L z , is presented. Instead We have the oportunity, with pants from BFR, to make
of P2/A we have ranked the inverse values, A/P 2, being in trials for the three-dimensional analysis of arrangements of
near harmony with certain axial functions. Instead of the the gains. The image analysis work at the Link6ping Uni-
water requirement at a coarse aggregate content of 55 %, versity has now been transferred from the education labo-
the calculated content of "dry material" (%) in the fresh ratory to the new organisation, "Teknik Centrum". They
concrete is given. Now an evident discrepancy in the have accepted the mission to carry out experiments for a
relation between the axiallity and water required can be pilot project on the subject.
observed for the quartzite in both the fractions 0.25-0.5 In a report delivered in February 1983, the following
mm and 2-4 mm. It has been found that there, and in adja- premisses were given. The grains have to be lying on bright
cent size, the quartzite has very thin and flaky grains, which polished glass and illuminated by a double fibre optic
may be the reason for the unusual behaviour of the quartzite. arrangement. Thus, the background will be black ; there
An interesting positive effect from this material was found may be no retie:don from the underlying glass. The scanning
when mixing it with other aggregates. It has therefore been has to be made with two video-cameras, one above the
desirable, when planning a new instrument for image analy- object for measuring two dimensions and the other for
sis of grains, to also be able to determine a third dimension, measuring the third dimension. "Linear arraying cameras"
the thickness (T) of the grains. with a demand for the resolution of 20 points per diameter
232

for tile scanning, are proposed. For rapid analysis, the Summary
grains are separated in a line in a stable position and have to
pass the scanning point at a low and constant velocity. This - The results of sieving and tile grading based on the same
will take place on the polished edge of a circular glass disc. is influenced by the grain shapes.
A feeder to the edge has been developed and partly tested.
The grains in the sample are intended to be transported one - Swedish glaciofluvial sand shows a higher axial equality
by one from a vibration feeder and it is thought that a and lower water requirement for the concrete than the
sample consisting of grains of different sizes could be trans- crushed rocks tested. (An exception is crushed limestone,
ported and treated without interruption. not concrete tested.) After the natural sand, the crashed
quartzite and sandstone show good aggregate properties.
We had foreseen that the mechanical arrangement could
present certain problems in the reliability of its functions. - In the fraction 0.25-0.5 m m and 2-4 mm, Fig. 3a, b (and
We tried to utilize an "Aylesbury Vibration Part Feeder". adjacent sizes), there is generally a good correlation
The bowl had to be provided with an outlet pipe for between A/L 2 and dry substance as volume percent in
setting out the grains in a row on the edge of the glass the fresh concrete, which must be utilised for determina-
disc. The shape of the glass edge is studied. tion of the quality of the aggregate.
The bowl was too uneven in the track and had to be ground - In the fraction 2-4 mm, Fig. 3b (and adjacent sizes), an
and polished, but the material was not suitable for giving extreme flakiness is observed and verified. It is reflected
the desired surface. Also, the connected pipe gave problems in the graph as disturbing the correlation between A/L 2
with the grain transport. A provisional apparatus, see Fig. 4, and the dry substance. Unexpectedly good properties for
with the existing mechanical details, was shown and discus- the quartzite aggregate combining it with other aggregates
sed with the researchers from Teknik Centrum. It was then indicate the importance o f determining the thickness
recommended that a new bowl or plane disc, more conve- (3rd dimension) of the grains in a rapid manner.
nient for the experiments, be made. The disc was ordered
from Teknik Centrum with the instruction that the metal
should have a very highly polished track, which worked to
good effect. Unfortunately, the track seemed to be too R6ferences
short to give full separation of the grains and other failures
were observed, which had to be corrected with a new BALCK Kenneth (1977) : Partikeim/itning med bildehandlings-
metal disc. Now the provisional mechanical part is proposed systemet PICAP. Link6pings Tekniska H6gskola, Sweden.
as in Fig. 5, but still certain modifications are to be expected. -ISY-I-0i52.

Fig. 4 : Preliminary trial. Vibrator feeder furnished with adjusta- Fig. 5 : Feeder construction with well polished track in dur-alumi-
ble screens for scraping off jointed grains in the bowl nium disc for placing gains on a glass disc edge.
track. The method seems not effective.
233

HAGIiRMAN Tor H. (1936) : Granulometric Studies in Northern vian Conference on Image Analysis, Link6ping 14-16 j an. 1980.
Argentine. -Geografiska Armaler, Stockholm 1936. Vol
HAGERMAN, BALCK, LILLIESKOLD (1980) : Shape and Surface
XVIII pp 125-212. of Mineral Grains Automatically Determined for Mortar and
I-tAGERMAN Tor H. (1982) : Korv_form hos sandsediment och Concrete Purposes through Image Analysis. -Swedish Council
ballastmaterial. -Ballastdagar i Lule~ 13-15 sept 1982 pp 183- for Building Research -D26, Stockholm 1980.
205. JOHANSSON Lars and KLEVBO G~Sran (1981) : C o n c r e t e with
HAGERMAN Tor H. and BALCK Kenneth (1980) : Shape and crushed aggregate. -Swedish Cement and Concrete Research
Surface of Mineral Grains Tentatived Tested for Mortax and Institute at the Institute of Technology, Stockholm. FO 1,
Concrete Purposes through Image Analysis. -First Scandina- 1981.