Organization: The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers

Pages: 7

Publication Date:
Jan 1, 1968

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Abstract

Tile avevage value of the mean curvature of surfaces in a specimen can be precisely delermined by sitrlple measurements performed on random sections or on 1 vojectiotzs of these surfaces. For surjaces enclosing particles, the quanlity is sllown to be velated to the probable tlurrrhev ot particles intevcepted by a random platne and, under certain conditions, to the perimeter of their Projected image and to the increuse in surjace area when the particles grow. Many of the velalionsl~ips are valid for any shape or size of the particles. THE recent growth of the field of stereology or quantitative microscopy is largely the result of the discovery of a limited number of rigorously defined geometrical parameters that can be precisely measured on random sections or projections of a structure without assumption about particle shape.' Such parameters have been the volume fraction and surface area and line length in a unit volume. The present paper introduces the average of the mean curvature of surfaces in a volume, and shows that it can be rigorously measured by counting methods alone. AVERAGE CURVATURE ON A PLANE Consider a curve y = v (x) on the xy plane. The curvature Kp in the plane at any point is given by Kp = (dZy/dx2)/[1 + (dy/dx)2]3/2. The average curvature along the curve may be defined as Kp = (1/L) fKpdl |1] where dl = [(dx)' + {dy)2]1/2 is the length of an element of the curve and .(dl = L is the total length of the curve. The integral on the right-hand side of Eq. [l] will be called the total curvature, It is dimensionless and readily evaluated by substituting d = arctan (dy/dx) to give ah which is the change in direction of the tangents to the ends of the curve, Fig. 1. Hence, Kp = (1/L)(?h) [2] It can also be seen that Eq. [2] is applicable in the limit of sharp corners. Even though the curvature is infinite at a corner, f Kpdl remains integrable and equal to the change of angle. The signs of the quantities Kp and dl are arbitrary and, if the areas adjoining the curve are equivalent, there seems to be no compelling reason to fix the signs. For a closed curve, however, it becomes worthwhile to use the signs to distinguish among different types of areas or phases enclosed. For such a closed curve AO = t2r and As a convention, we shall take the direction of the integration along the curve in such a way that the area or phase under consideration (henceforth called a) is kept to the left side of the curve, Fig. 1. Then Kp is positive where the curve is concave and negative where the curve is convex. For a closed curve Ad - +2n if the curve encloses a, and Ad = —2n if the curve is surrounded by a. PLANAR SECTIONS OF THREE-DIMENSIONAL STRUCTURE OF ISOLATED a PARTICLES Consider next a planar section of a microstructure containing particles of a in a matrix. We place no restriction on shape of connectedness of these particles, and begin by considering the curvature of only the boundary between a particles and matrix' Clumps of contiguous a particles are then treated as a single a particle. The two-dimensional section will show in a unit area na simple closed curves enclosing a particles and nh closed curves of holes, in- |

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