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Digital Microscopy For Materials Characterization

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Modeling in Materials Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.430.1 - 7.430.9



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Paper Authors

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Sergey Yarmolenko

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Jagannathan Sankar

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Juri Filatovs

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Devdas Pai

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Main Menu Session 1464

Materials Characterization by Digital Microscopy

G. J. Filatovs, S. N. Yarmolenko, D. M. Pai and J. Sankar Department of Mechanical Engineering and NSF Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures, NC A&T State University, Greensboro, NC 27411


Materials characterization and analysis is the central theme of materials science. While computer- based methods greatly extend the scope of characterization techniques, these methods are associated with their own set of implementation issues in terms of image processing, statistical, and mathematical problems. Classical metallography does not prepare students for these challenges. We have developed a graduate course on microstructural characterization, analysis, and modeling that is based on concepts of stochastic microstructures and uses model systems based on spatial geometry concepts of point processes, packings, and tessellations. Using discrete constituents such as discs, we develop the fundamental ideas of spatial geometry and image algebra more transparently to aid student comprehension. Once these principles are covered, we extend them to more complex structures such as multiphase materials.


This paper discusses our experiences with a 3-semester-hour (2 lecture and 2 laboratory hours) course taught to graduate students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at NC A&T State University; these students were from different research groups and facilities but worked within the framework of the NSF Center for Advanced Materials and Smart Structures (CAMSS) for this special topic course. Their thesis topics ranged from computational mechanics to traditional materials science topics (semiconduction, nanomaterials), the materials primarily being composites (carbon/polymer, carbon/carbon, ceramic/ceramic) or monolithic ceramics. The topic of the course was the evolved equivalent of “Quantitative Metallography”, the examination of microstructures in the optical and scanning microscope ranges.

Because of the students varied background paths to the program, it was necessary to supply collateral support in statistics, spatial geometry, computer topics, and the property-structure link. The presentation of sufficient amounts of these topics in an integrated manner provided the major challenge for the course.

Course Scope

Like other areas, materials science is evolving a new relationship to the computer, which is bringing a strong link with mathematics and statistics. This is raising the expectations of microstructural analysis; however, an interpretative and analytic strategy is still needed and the translation of microstructure into the framework of computation or model is rarely trivial. This has resulted in an increased scope for the typical microstructures course, transforming it from metallurgy to materials.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Yarmolenko, S., & Sankar, J., & Filatovs, J., & Pai, D. (2002, June), Digital Microscopy For Materials Characterization Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11361

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