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On acquisition parameters and processing techniques for interparticle contact detection in granular packings using synchrotron computed tomography

DOI: 10.3390/jimaging8050135 DOI Help

Authors: Fernando Alvarez-Borges (Diamond Light Source; University of Southampton) , Sharif Ahmed (Diamond Light Source) , Robert C. Atwood (Diamond Light Source)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Journal Of Imaging , VOL 8

State: Published (Approved)
Published: May 2022
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 26307

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: X-ray computed tomography (XCT) is regularly employed in geomechanics to non-destructively measure the solid and pore fractions of soil and rock from reconstructed 3D images. With the increasing availability of high-resolution XCT imaging systems, researchers now seek to measure microfabric parameters such as the number and area of interparticle contacts, which can then be used to inform soil behaviour modelling techniques. However, recent research has evidenced that conventional image processing methods consistently overestimate the number and area of interparticle contacts, mainly due to acquisition-driven image artefacts. The present study seeks to address this issue by systematically assessing the role of XCT acquisition parameters in the accurate detection of interparticle contacts. To this end, synchrotron XCT has been applied to a hexagonal close-packed arrangement of glass pellets with and without a prescribed separation between lattice layers. Different values for the number of projections, exposure time, and rotation range have been evaluated. Conventional global grey value thresholding and novel U-Net segmentation methods have been assessed, followed by local refinements at the presumptive contacts, as per recently proposed contact detection routines. The effect of the different acquisition set-ups and segmentation techniques on contact detection performance is presented and discussed, and optimised workflows are proposed.

Journal Keywords: contact detection; computed tomography; segmentation; soil; granular materials

Subject Areas: Earth Science, Technique Development

Instruments: I12-JEEP: Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing

Added On: 18/05/2022 08:33


Discipline Tags:

Technique Development - Earth Sciences & Environment Earth Sciences & Environment Geology Geophysics

Technical Tags:

Imaging Tomography