The SEM and optical microscopy facilities at the Division of Mineral and Process Engineering have been used to investigate the capacity of modern image analysis techniques to characterise alumina hydrate crystals. The results from initial measurements indicate that either method can be used to aquire meaningful measures of size, shape etc.
However, a review of the published literature for alumina suggests that simple measures of particle characteristics e.g. mean size, mean shape factor will only correlate partially with observed bulk handling properties. Thus the challenge for image analysis research is to identify surface features that can be related, via models of particle-to-particle interactions such as mechanical interlocking, to the bulk handling properties of alumina powders.