Virtual Laboratory Instrument Training Series

Web Site Design
by
Dr. Glen A. Stone
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
501 East Saint Joseph Street * Rapid City, SD 57701
(605)394-1284 * FAX (605)394-3369

© 2002 - Dr. Glen A. Stone - SDSM&T

Instrument: LECO Image Analysis System/Analyzer Set-up

The Olympus VANOX-T Optical Microscope exam must be passed before LECO Analysis System can be used. Unsupervised use of this Instrument and the Olympus VANOX-T Optical Microscope requires passing an instrument usage Quiz

Instrument Location: MI 125


Table of Contents
Quick Links to Web Page Topics

  1. Computer Set-up: Required Parameters for Most Stereology Solutions
  2. ASTM E 112 (Grain Size Analysis): Outline of Procedure
  3. Area Fraction Measurement (Phase Fraction Determination): Outline of Procedure
  4. Manual Linear Measurements: Outline of Procedure
  5. Quizzes and Surveys

ASTM #112
GAverage = 10.25
s = σ = 0.17
GMax = 10.43
GMin = 9.90

Typical Grain Size Measurement Results
(16 Sample Areas)

Area Fraction
Plane #1

AA (Average) = 0.128
s = σ = 0.023
AA (Max) = 0.172
AA (Min) = 0.093
AA (Plane #1) + AA ( Plane #2) = 1.0

Typical Area Fraction Measurement Results
(16 Sample Areas)



Computer Set-up: Command Bar Instruction Set
Reset Button System Configuration Servo Stage Pattern Parameters File Manager Page Gray Scale Analysis Programs Color Microscopic Features Metallography Quantitative Analysis Programs Report Set-up Page Set-up Program RUN Parameters Exit Program


Erase or Reset the previous user developed LECO Image Analysis Program.



The system must be cleared of the existing object oriented code.
  1. Push the RESET button (use center mouse button) or load from a file an existing analysis program(UTIL).
  2. Select YES by pushing the center mouse button.
The result is a screen with one line of analysis code. The Grab program captures the pixel array and places it into a buffer.

1) Grab


Required System Settings for Most Image Analysis Solutions


Select the TV Camera and Lens
1. Select Camera Being Used -- A single mouse click using the center mouse button produces the desired result.
  • Camera 1 is attached to the microscope.
  • Camera 2 is attached to a macro stand for analysis at magnifications between 0.5X and about 20X.
2. Select Lens Magnification Being Used -- A single mouse click using the center mouse button produces the desired result.

  • The number three (3) lens is selected. This is the 20X lens.
  • If by accident the lens turret in set on any other lens and a quantitative analysis is attempted, the calculations presented are incorrect.
  • Why?
    • All calculations are based on the calibration of the lens being used. The calibration has units of microns/pixel.
3. Set to Digital or Manual Stage and Focus Control -- A single mouse click using the center mouse button produces the desired result.
  • The current setting is digital.
  • To change to manual use the center mouse button and click on the SYSTEM PARAM. button.
  • Scan down the page, and again using the center mouse button, mouse click on the line with the word digital.
  • This action will cause the text box to change to manual.

Lens Calibration / Shading Correction
Dr. Marquis and Dr. Stone are asking new users not to engage in lens calibration or shading correction activities.

Lens Calibration
  • A single mouse click (center mouse button) on a “Mag.” button allows the name of the lens to be changed.
  • A single mouse click (center mouse button) on a “Calibration” button starts a routine that is used to calibrate the lens system for quantitative measurements.
    • This procedure involves using the stage micrometer calibration standard and the direct measure tool in the LECO Image Analyzer.
The Shading Correction Problem
  • Common Error Made by Users
    Note the 5x lens Shading Correction indicates NONE. This means recently a user pushed this button, did not know what to do, and in the process of trying to recover erase the shading correction for the 5x lens.

    This illustrates a problem encountered on a regular basis. Until this is fixed the 5x lens can’t be used for image analysis.

    Why? Because the gray level calibration is not present, an attempt to color a specific gray level range will fail. Note in the attempt to illustrate this problem, the red is not covering the image in a uniform manner. The shading of red is moving from the lower left to the upper right of the image. The color shading of the image must be flat across the image.


  • Shading Correction Calibration
    A single mouse click (center mouse button) on a “Shading/Correct.” button starts a routine that adjusts the brightness level of every pixel on the digital monitor.
    • This procedure involves using a perfect first surface mirror so as to create a uniform reflected image at a constant gray level. The uniform gray level forms the basis for the generation of the shading correction program that is run when a particular lens is selected. This program sets the brightness of each pixel for the active lens, thus assuring true and accurate measures of the reflected light from a specimen.


Set the Number and Geometry of Specimen Regions YOU want to Analyze Using Digital Control

This page is used only when focus and stage motion is set to digital.

Decide on the Number of Fields Needed.
A Minimum of 10 is Considered Adequate for Reasonable Statistical Characterization of the Microstructure.
  • Select the Field and Standard Buttons. When selected a white border is showing.
  • Set the Number of X and Y Steps. Using the center mouse button click in the field, type the desired number of steps, and then push return for both the X & Y Coordinates.
  • If the analysis areas are just to touch, set the step factor to 1. If you want a space between each measured region, set the step factor to greater than 1.


Load and Save Program and Photo Files

Use of the File Manager
  • The left list of buttons
    • PRG – Stored Program Files
    • RES – Stored Result Files
    • TIF – Stored TIF Image Files
    • IMA – Stored Bit Mapped Image Files
Consider Adding a File
For Example a New Program File
  • Push the PRG Button
  • Push the Save Button
Consider Saving and Image to Floppy Diskette
  • Push the TIF Button
  • Push the Save Button
    • Type: B:\myphoto
    • Push Return Key

Consider Loading a Saved Bit Mapped File
  • Push the IMA Button
  • Push the Load Button – the Directory of Bit Mapped Files Will Appear
  • Selected the Wanted File from the List – Push the Load Button
    The image will appear on the digital CRT.


Object Program Files Designed to Modify Gray-scale Images

There are 15 objects in the GRAY scale modification program set. The programs are designed to enhance geometric features so as to improve the accuracy of the quantitative measurement.

Examples of each program, using the same general area in a mild steel specimen (∼400x), is provided so the end result of each routine can be viewed.

Grab
Collects the current image and places a digital map in the buffer

Edge detect
Looks for max-min (first derivative), or sharp steps in the gray level profile and maps a point over the image when these mathematical conditions exists. The result is a unique identification of features such as etched grain and phase boundaries and fiber edges.

Transition
This filter removes blurred edges in regions of sharp gray level transition leaving the rest of the image untouched. Compare this image to the original Grab image.
Temp. Aver. stands for Temporal Averaging which is a process of removing noise by time-average of several images. The idea is that noise is random, so noise spikes that appear in one images, but not in others can be diluted.

Temporal Averaging
Difficult to illustrate. It is suggested that this method of reducing noise be tried -- if it helps clarify an image then use It.
Laplacian
This procedure is basically the graph of points derived from the second derivative of the edge detector filter.
Vertical
Like the edge detector filter, this routine looks for max-min (first derivative), or sharp steps in the gray level profile and maps a point over the image when these mathematical conditions exists. The model is restricted to graphing points over the image that satisfy the mathematical model along vertical lines only.
Histogram Modification
This feature allows the brightness or contrast to be modified dynamically during the analysis. To set the change wanted, hold the center mouse button down and move vertically to change CONTRAST, and/or hold the right mouse button down and move the mouse horizontally to modify the BRIGHTNESS.
To terminate the procedure and set the program use the left mouse button.
Sharpening Filter
Very useful filter that refines fine structure boundaries, such as precipitates, thus making it much easier to set an analysis thresh-hold. Setting the analysis thresh-hold is presented in the BIN (binary) presentation.
Horizontal
Like the edge detector filter, this routine looks for max-min (first derivative), or sharp steps in the gray level profile and maps a point over the image when these mathematical conditions exist. The model is restricted to graphing points over the image that satisfy the mathematical model along Horizontal lines only.
Smoothing
The smoothing filter removes spikes in large regions of uniform gray level. There is a tendency to reduce the sharpness, but if this action is followed with a SHARPENING or TRANSITION filter, the image sharpness can be restored. Compare this image to the original GRAB image.
Erode
The erode filter is useful to remove very fine details from a gray image while leaving larger particles intact.

Note that the boundaries between particles has been broadened, very much like over etching a specimen.
Diagonal /
Like the edge detector filter, this routine looks for max-min (first derivative), or sharp steps in the gray level profile and maps a point over the image when these mathematical conditions exists. The model is restricted to graphing points over the image that satisfy the mathematical model along Diagonal / lines only.
3pt average
The 3pt averaging routine sets a central pixel to the average value of its two nearest neighbors. This is another way to remove noise spikes. Image sharpness is decreased. It may be useful to followed with a SHARPENING or TRANSITION filter.
Dilate
Tends to thicken fine dark particles or lines. Sometimes a better image is obtained if this filter is followed by the ERODE filter.
Diagonal \
Like the edge detector filter, this routine looks for max-min (first derivative), or sharp steps in the gray level profile and maps a point over the image when these mathematical conditions exists. The model is restricted to graphing points over the image that satisfy the mathematical model along Diagonal \ lines only.



BINARY INSTRUCTIONS -- 16 image processing programs are available.


THRESHOLD is required for all quantitative analysis activities. If the THRESHOLD of gray image features, such as grain boundaries or phases, is not defined there will be no bit plane created. Without a bit plane definition no measurements can be conducted.

Several of the activities on this page are presented in the GRAY scale discussion.

Specific tools on the BIN page will be presented as part of analysis examples that follow.

Three of the eight bit planes are shown. The title of the bit plane can be changed to anything needed that properly defines a phase. A single mouse click on the Phase # box, then typing the phase name, followed by pushing the return button sets the new name for the phase.

The THRESHOLD is currently set to manual. To use the automatic THRESHOLD tool mouse click, using the center mouse button, on the word Manual. This space will toggle to Automatic. The reverse is also true.

  • To use the Automatic THRESHOLD make sure the Manual/Automatic button shows Automatic. Then push the Initiate button.
  • To Use the Manual THRESHOLD make sure the Manual/Automatic button shows Manual. Then push the Initiate button. It is assumed the RED bit plane has been selected for the following discussion.
    • To manually adjust the THRESHOLD, push and hold the right mouse button down and drag the mouse to the right. This will cause the right edge of the RED bar, that defines the Gray level, to move from zero to as high as 255. The right edge can be moved back and forth in this way.
    • The left edge of the RED bar is moved by holding down the center mouse button and dragging the mouse to the right. The left edge can be moved back and forth in this way.
    • The final step after the bit plane range has been selected for a single feature, such as a phase, is to mouse click on the left most mouse button. This writes the program to the Analysis Instruction set.
    • The upper and lower Limit of the bit plane is recorded in the Limit column for each of the possible eight bit planes.
  • One hundred percent of the image must be covered by two or more bit planes for fraction measurements.
  • Bit planes must not overlap!
Movie Illustration
How to Adjust the Shading Threshold
using the
Three Button Mouse

DSL or Cable
Dial Up Modem


Object Program Files Each Designed to Provide a Single Stereology Measurements

FeatureField

Feature Measurement Will Be Developed At A Later Date
  1. Select Field
  2. Select all measurement planes being used
  3. Turn OFF all unused measurements planes
  4. Select ASTM #112 (selected when white border is surrounding button)
  5. If wanted select Grain Size (selected when white border is surrounding button)
  6. Push Initiate button
FractionDirect
  1. Select Fraction
  2. Select all measurement planes being used
  3. Turn OFF all unused measurements planes
  4. Push Initiate button
  1. Select Direct
  2. Push Initiate Button
  3. An Image of a cross(+) will appear in the microstructure image. The color of the + is the color of the destination plane selected.
    1. Move the mouse to locate the + at one edge of the feature being measured.
    2. Depress and hold the center Mouse Button,and drag the + to the other side of the feature.
    3. Release the center mouse button.
The measurement in micron-meters will appear on the measurement screen for the selected feature.


Object Program File with Some Report Design Options
  1. Setting up the Field Report
    1. Select Table button (selected when a white border surrounds the button).
    2. Select Field button (selected when a white border surrounds the button).
    3. Make sure the correct measurement plane is displayed (if not an error was made when setting up the Field program).
    4. Turn Off any unused measurement planes.
    5. Make sure the correct column headings are displayed (if not an error was made when setting up the Field program).
      1. The position of the columns can be changed. Mouse click on the column button and the selection is displayed. Select the column heading wanted in the selected position, then push the Enter button.
    6. Mouse click on the Initiate button to set the Report format.
  1. Setting up the Fraction Report
    1. Select Fraction button (selected when a white border surrounds the button).
    2. Make sure the correct measurement planes are selected and displayed (if not an error was made when setting up the Fraction program).
    3. Turn Off any unused measurement planes.
    4. Mouse click on the Initiate button to set the Report format.



This Page Provides a Run Program Interface and Other Useful Options

All the analysis information created during set-up is printed on this page.
  1. The ANALYSIS INSTRUCTIONS,
  2. map of the automated stage pattern,
  3. number of samples and number of Fields
  4. sample Id.,
  5. and so on--.
In this example Report ON and Store OFF are selected.

To start the automatic collection of sixteen different areas on the metallographic specimen, and then generate a report with statistics, simply mouse click on the Start button.


EXIT to DOS


  Link to Quiz and Web Site Evaluation Form

  • If you are enrolled in MET 231, 331 or 441/541 the Username and Password is your student ID number.
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Unsupervised use of this equipment requires personal certification by Dr. Marquis or Dr. Stone, or passage of the qualifying quiz with a grade of 100%