Improving particle size measurement using multi-flash imaging

T. K. Koh, N. J. Miles, S. P. Morgan, B. R. Hayes-Gill

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


An accurate calculation of the size distribution of coarse particles is crucial in the mining and quarrying industry. Machine vision has the capability to overcome many inherent limitations of traditional sieving methods and is an active research area. However, inaccurate image segmentation of particles through software based algorithms is a significant source of error. In this paper, a hardware based approach to improving image segmentation is demonstrated using multi-flash Imaging (MFI), where multiple images captured with different illumination allows depth edges around a particle to be captured through shadow information. The MFI method is compared with conventional segmentation methods such as watershed and Canny edge detection. In order to provide more accurate evaluation of performance wooden spheres of known diameter were evaluated. Imaging the size distribution of pebbles provided a practical scenario in the evaluation of MFI. The results revealed that MFI produced more accurate size estimations than conventional segmentation techniques for both the wooden spheres and pebbles, demonstrating the potential for future use in the mining industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)537-543
Number of pages7
JournalMinerals Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Online-analysis
  • Particle size

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Chemistry (all)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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