Feasibility of digital imaging to characterize earth materials : part 4.

Feasibility of digital imaging to characterize earth materials : part 4.

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    Final research report; 10/1/10-9/30/11.
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    This study demonstrated the feasibility of digital imaging to characterize earth materials. Two rapid, relatively low cost image-based methods were developed for determining the grain size distribution of soils and aggregates. The first method, called “sedimaging,” provides the grain size distribution for particles between 2.0 mm (U.S. Standard Sieve Number 10) and 0.075 mm (Sieve Number 200) in size. The test utilizes a 7 ft. sedimentation column to rapidly segregate the particles by size. An image processing program based on mathematical wavelet decomposition determines the dominant particle size at approximately 5000 points in an image of the sedimented soil and computes the percentages by size as traditional sieving would. The sedimaging test also reports the percentage of particles smaller than the #200 sieve, the equivalent of “percentage loss by wash” in sieving. The second test utilizes a 3 ft. x 3 ft. tilting backlit Translucent Segregation Table (TST) for obtaining the size distribution of particles in the 40 mm (or larger) to 2.0 mm range. In this test the particles are only somewhat segregated to insure that smaller particles are not hidden from camera view behind larger particles. The dimensions of every particle in the specimen are determined to compute the percentages by size. Results of the Sedimaging and TST tests may be combined to produce a single traditional particle size distribution.
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