Characterisation of wood-fibre—based materials using image analysis

Sammanfattning: Wood fibres are the main constituent of paper and are also used to alter properties of plastics in wood-fibre—based composite materials. The manufacturing of these materials involves numerous parameters that determine the quality of the products. The link between the manufacturing parameters and the final products can often be found in properties of the microstructure, which calls for advanced characterisation methods of the materials. Computerised image analysis is the discipline of using computers to automatically extract information from digital images. Computerised image analysis can be used to create automated methods suitable for the analysis of large data volumes. Inherently these methods give reproducible results and are not biased by individual analysts. In this thesis, three-dimensional X-ray computed tomography (CT) at micrometre resolution is used to image paper and composites. Image analysis methods are developed to characterise properties of individual fibres, properties of fibre—fibre bonds, and properties of the whole fibre networks based on these CT images. The main contributions of this thesis is the development of new automated image-analysis methods for characterisation of wood-fibre—based materials. This include the areas of fibre—fibre contacts and the free—fibre lengths. A method for reduction of phase contrast in mixed mode CT images is presented. This method retrieves absorption from images with both absorption and phase contrast. Curvature calculations in volumetric images are discussed and a new method is proposed that is suitable for three-dimensional images of materials with wood fibres, where the surfaces of the objects are close together.

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