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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 3, No.

4, 2011

Characterization of Spheroidal Graphite Iron using Digital Image Analysis System


1

Md Mushtaq Ahmed, 2B.S.Motgi, 3Pattan Prakash C & 4P.S. Hiremath

M-Tech Production Engineering, PDA College of Engineering, Gulbarga, India, mushtaqbhole@gmail.com 2 Sl.Lecturer M-Tech(prod), PDA College of Engineering, Gulbarga, India. bmotagi@yahoo.com 3 System Analyst, Dept of Computer Science & Engg, PDA College of Engineering,Gulbarga, India, prakashpattan@gmail.com 4 Professor, Department of Computer Science, Gulbarga University, Gulbarga, India hiremath_ps@hotmail.com

Abstract
The ISO-945 committee has defined six classes of graphite grain morphology. The grain classes are represented by the drawings [3]. These reference drawings are universally accepted for classification of graphite grains. The spheroidal graphite iron is widely used in industries, in this paper, we introduce the basic types graphite grain morphology in the six classes of cast iron for the characterization of spheroidal graphite iron using digital image analysis system. The simple shape descriptors (SSDs) that are suitable for classification of six classes of grains from a microstructure image are introduced. While building the classification system, we have used the neural network approach with radial basis function (rbf). The experimentation is carried out using the metallographic images from the well known microstructures library [4] and [5]. For training and testing the networks, the grain shapes identified in ISO-945 reference drawings are used. The results obtained from automated method are compared with manual method and is observed that the proposed method can effectively classify the graphite grains at an improved classification rate of 4.5%. Further an attempt has been made to predict the chemical composition and mechanical properties. The predicted results are more close to manual results. Keywords: Neural network, radial basis function, morphology, shape descriptors, ISO-945, S.G.Iron.

1. Introduction
In the manufacturing of materials, the morphology of the graphite grains is regarded as key factor to judge the physical and chemical properties of materials. When the carbon is diluted in iron at molten state with an amount of more than 2.1%, it precipitates to form graphite grains (particles). The shape of these particles can vary widely depending on the presence of other impurities and on the cooling rate. The thermo-mechanical properties of cast-iron are strongly dependent on these shapes. For example, nodular cast iron, in which the particles are merely spherical in shape, is normally less brittle than gray iron, where sharp graphite flakes contribute to stress concentration and crack initiation. Thus, it is relevant to classify castiron according to graphite grain shape. The ISO-945 standard defines six classes for cast iron, based on graphite grain shape. These grain classes are shown in Fig.1. In the manual method, an expert views grains of etched sample of material under microscope. He chooses the correct class for each grain by visual comparison with the reference drawings. But generally, manual method produces varying results from person to person. Hence, the development of an automated and consistent method has high importance. Many efforts have been made in this area. The simple shape descriptors (SSDs) are the general choice of many for extracting the features. The comparison of shape descriptors is given in [17] and it is observed that SSDs with Euclidian distance classifier are efficient features. Out of many features discussed, not all the features are required for recognition purpose. Choosing the most suitable features for the case in hand is a challenge. The Fourier descriptors [6] are also popularly used as object features. . With this motivation and background we propose an efficient method for classification of grains from a given microstructure image, with the help of optimum set of simple shape descriptors (SSDs), extracted from reference drawings. In the present study, we have employed the shape features, namely, simple shape descriptors (SSDs) for classification of graphite grains in microstructure images of cast iron using neural network approach. The experimentation has been carried out using features extracted from ISO-945 reference drawings [3] for supervised training of neural network radial basis functions, and digital metallographic images from the well known microstructures libraries [4] and [5] for classification (testing). The experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of the proposed method.

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Figure 1. Reference drawings for the ISO-945 defined six classes of grains in cast iron A. Geometric features The definitions of geometric features used in this work are as follows. Roundness: Roundness = 4 area / length2max Where Lengthmax is the maximum length between two boundry points of the region. Eccentricity: Eccentricity is the ratio of the length of longest chord of the shape to the longest chord perpendicular to it. Eccentricity = Length major_ axis / Length minor_ axis Elongation: Elongation is the ratio of the height and width of a rotated minimal bounding box. Elongation = heightbounding_box / widthbounding_box. Rectangularity: Rectangularity: It is the ratio of area of the object to the area of minimum bounding rectangle around the object. Rectangularity = Areaobject / Areabounding_rectangale. Tortousity: It is the ratio of contour length to the maximum linear length between any two points on the contour. Tortousity = Lengthmax / Lengthcontour. Where Lengthmax is the maximum length between two boundary points of the region and Lengthcontour is the length of the contour of the region boundary. B. Materials used We have used the microstructure images of cast iron that have been taken from steel bars that have all types of graphite grain structures. The etching medium used for preparing specimen is 3% alcoholic nitric acid. The images are drawn from microstructure libraries [4] and [5] for experimentation. The microstructure images used for testing are of cast iron material with varying compositions and magnifications. The ISO-945 reference drawings of grain morphology [3] are used for training neural network.

2. Proposed Method
The proposed method is based on neural network approach and has two phases: training and testing. Each phase consists of preprocessing and feature extraction stages as described below. A. Preprocessing Generally, the microstructure images suffer from noise and artifacts developed at the time of specimen preparation. This stage is of high importance in achieving good results in segmentation and further process. We have used circular averaging filter with radius 2, followed by the morphological closing with fixed structuring element, disk of radius 2, in

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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 3, No.4, 2011 order to de-noise the image. We have used threshold segmentation method for segmenting the graphite grains from the background ferrite matrix [18]. The segmented image is labeled. Each labeled segment is a grain structure and is subjected to the shape feature extraction.

B. Neural network classifier We use the neural network classifier for grains classification in the segmented image. The training and classification phases of neural network are given in the following algorithms. Phase 1: Neural network training Step 1: Input grayscale microstructure image (training image). Step 2: Perform preprocessing (averaging, morphological operations and threshold) and obtain segmented image. The segmented regions are known grains. Step 3: Compute the shape features for each labeled region (grain), which are of known grain class. Step 4: Input the shape features computed in step 3 as inputs to the neural network. Step 5: Repeat the steps 1 to 4 for all training images. Phase 2: Neural network classifier Step 1: Input grayscale microstructure image (test image). Step 2: Perform preprocessing (averaging, morphological operations and watershed segmentation) and obtain segmented image. Step 3: Compute the shape features for each labeled region. Step 4: (Classification) Input the shape features computed in step 3 for a region to the neural network which is trained using the Algorithm 1 for grains classification. Step 5: The output of neural network indicates the grain class to which the region belongs. Step 6: Repeat steps 4 and 5 for all regions of the segmented image.

3. Experimental Results and Discussion


This section presents the classification, predicting physical and chemical properties of Spheroidal Graphite Iron. Also this section discusses the relationship between mechanical properties and the Microstructural properties of materials. A. Classification of S.G. Iron For the experimentation, the neural network is trained using six ISO-945 reference drawings with six grain classes [3], the sample training images are shown in Fig 1. The original drawings are scanned and images are stored in jpeg file format. Then the images are scaled to 64x64, 128x128 and 512x512 pixel sizes and each scaled image is rotated to 45, 90, 135 degrees, then they are used for extracting the features. This has increased the training set and achieved invariance in rotation and scaling. The sample microstructure images used for testing are shown in the Fig. 2.

Fig. 2. Sample Microstructure images of Cast iron showing various types of grain structures. The radial basis function neural network is used as classifier and the shape descriptors are used as inputs for the network. The error function is mean square error (mse) which is set to 0.15. The spread value for radial basis function is 1.0 and the maximum number of neurons in hidden layer allowed to add during training is 300 numbers. During the testing phase, 50 microstructure images, each with grains of different types containing 25 grains on an average, are used. These images are drawn from the microstructure library [4] and [5]. Out of many SSDs defined in the literature, the five SSDs

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International Journal of Advances in Science and Technology, Vol. 3, No.4, 2011 defined in the section 1.1, employed by the neural network classifier with radial basis function, have yielded better classification results during our experimentation. The results obtained by manual and proposed methods are listed in the Table 3. From result, it can be observed that there is a low rate of classification in the case of grain-class IV and class V. It is due to their very similar shape features defined in heir basic reference drawings it self. In spite of the similarity in grains shapes of class IV and class V, the proposed method has yielded significant improvement in classification rate compared to manual method. The training performance of neural network is shown in the Fig.3.

Figure 3. Training performance of the neural network The proposed method is automatic, efficient and fast compared to manual system. The experts intervention is limited to only building the neural network and the knowledge-base of grain classes. The classification rate is as shown in Fig. 4.

Figure 4. Performance of the radial basis neural network classifier with SSDs as features The improved classification rate (compared to manual method) is around 4.5% as shown in Table 1, which is a most significant achievement as far as material testing and manufacturing is concerned.

Table 1. Classification rate of six classes of grains

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B. Predicting chemical and physical properties With the known samples we have developed a knowledge base ,which correlates chemical properties of the materials with mechanical and Microstructural properties, and with this effort we would be able to predict the chemical and mechanical properties based on Microstructural analysis with the help of our developed work method. The below tables 2 & 3 show the chemical analysis of the sample materials with mechanical properties. Table 2. Chemical Composition of Cast Iron samples
SAMPLE Fe% C% Si% Mn% S% P% Ni% Mo% Cr% Cu% Ce% Ti% Al%

A 1A 2A 1B 2B 3B

92.25 91.721 92.272 90.646 91.845 92.675

4.524 5.413 4.68 6.198 5.042 4.241

2.235 2.462 2.66 2.5 2.696 2.711

0.359 0.176 0.171 0.323 0.174 0.166

0.0111 0.01 0.0097 0.0074 0.0073 0.0093

0.03 0.0282 0.0309 0.0262 0.0357 0.0359

0.0067 0.0076 0.0075 0.0064 0.0073 0.0069

1E-05 1E-05 1E-05 1E-05 1E-05 1E-05

0.0139 0.013 0.0131 0.0138 0.019 0.015

0.1516 0.00489 0.00586 0.0691 0.0022 0.00651

5.379 6.243 5.577 7.041 5.952 5.156

0.04 0.0491 0 0 0 0

0.0043 0.00655 0.00905 0.0049 0.00154 0.00509

Table 3. Mechanical properties


SAMPLE TENSILE STRENGTH N/mm2 % ELONGATION HARDNESS BHN

A 1A 2A 1B 2B 3B

418.1 439.6 450.25 454.31 439.08 452.34

8.57 19.57 22.29 21.43 22.29 23

163 149 148 149 156 156

Table 4. Microstructural properties


SAMPLE MATERIALS GRAPHITE PERCENTAGE NODULE COUNT NODULARITY PERCENTAGE

A 1A 2A 1B 2B 3B

14.722 15.586 13.078 13.034 15.855 13.645

74 67 77 90 63 62

67.91 65.75 72.04 70.71 65.315 71.282

Since the nodularity is property of SG Iron which has the influence on the mechanical properties, which can be shown graphically as below. The graphs 2, 3 & 4 shows the variation or the effect of nodularity percentage on the mechanical properties like tensile strength , percentage elongation, hardness. The average results for graphite percentage, Nodule Count, Nodularity Percentage taken from number of sample images are shown in Table 4.

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Graph 2: Tensile strength v/s Nodularity percentage From the above graph it is observed that the tensile strength of the SG Iron depends on the nodularity percentage of graphite particles, as the nodularity percentage of graphite particles increases tensile strength of the SG Iron also increases, which is also investigated and discussed in [1]. The expected chemical composition of the sample materials is shown in Table 2.

Graph 3: Percentage Elongation V/S Nodularity percentage From above graph it is observed that the percentage elongation of the SG Iron depends on the nodularity percentage of graphite particles, as the nodularity percentage of graphite particles increases Percentage Elongation of the SG Iron also increases, which has investigated and discussed in [1]. The expected chemical composition of the sample materials is shown in Table 2.

Graph 4: Hardness (BHN) V/S Nodularity percentage From above graph it is observed that the Hardness of the SG Iron depends on the nodularity percentage of graphite particles, as the nodularity percentage of graphite particles increases Hardness of the SG Iron decreases. The expected chemical composition of the sample materials is shown in Table 2.

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4. Conclusion
We have developed an image analysis system for assessing quality of SG Iron based on the graphite grains shapes using digital image analysis system, which is economical, fast, simple to operate. The developed system uses neural network approach for classification of graphite forms. The method is robust and invariant under geometry, lighting transforms, quality and variety of magnifications of microstructure images. The experimental results show that the simple shape descriptors and radial basis neural network classifier yield better classification performance. We have tried to correlate the observed microstructural properties with mechanical properties of known samples materials. We have observed through our experimentation that the tensile strength increases with increase in nodularity of the sample, also the percentage of elongation increases with increase in nodularity. Hardness of the materials decreases with increase in nodularity percentage. The results can be further improved by using suitable preprocessing methods, feature sets and classifiers. The training samples images play an important role in neural network. Hence the testing performance and judgment of properties can be expected with increase in samples and acquiring more microstructure images from more fields. Specimen preparation techniques can also improve results.

5. References
[1] A.I. Al-Ghonamy, M. Ramadan, N. Fathy, K.M.Hafez and A. A. El-Wakil, Effect of Graphite Nodularity on Mechanical Properties of Ductile Iron for Water Works Fittings and Accessories, International Journal of Civil & Environmental Engineering Vol: 10 No: 03. B.I. Imasogie and U.Wend, Characterization of Graphite Particle Shape in Spheroidal Graphite Iron using a ComputerBased Image Analyzer, Journal of Minerals & Materials Characterization & Engineering , Vol. 3, No.1, pp 1-12, 2004. Handbook Committee, Hand book of ASM International, Vol 9, Metallography and Microstructures, ISBN:0-87170-7063. Microstructures library: http://www.metalograf.de/start-eng.htm University of Cambridge , Contributed Microstructures library: http://www.doitpoms.ac.uk Xaviour Arnould, Michel Coster, Jean-Louis Chermant, Liliane Chermant, Thierry Chartier and Abder Elmoataz, Segmentation and Grain Size of Ceramics, Image Anal Stereol, France 2001, pp.131-135 O.P.Khanna FOUNDRY TECHNOLOGY, DHANPAT RAI PUBLICATIONS, 2008. K.R.Phaneesh, Material Science & Metallurgy, Sudha Publications, 2008. George Vander Voort, http://www.georgevandervoort.com/mic_met_pdf/IntroToStereologyGrainSize.pdf and http://www.georgevandervoort.com/mic_met_pdf/ IntroToStereologySizeShape.pdf.

[2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

[10] Pattan Prakash C. et.al. Classification of Cast Iron Based on Graphite Grain Morphology using Simple Shape Descriptors. International Journal of Engineering and Technology Volume 2, Number 4, December 2009 Eashwar Publications [11] ASM Committee. Practical Guide to Image Analysis, ASM International, 2000. [12] ASTM International. Practice for Determining the inculsion or second phase constituent content by Automatic Image Analysis, E 1244-95, Annual book of ASTM Standard ,Sec. 3, 1999,pp 786-796 [13] ASTM International. Test methods for determining average grain size using semiautomatic and automatic Image Analysis, E1382-97, Annual book ASTM Standards, Sec. 3,1999, pp 867-890. [14] Russ J.C and R.T. Dehoff, Practical Stereology, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, USA, 2000.
[15] [16] [17] [18] Quantitative Shape Evaluation of Graphite Particles in Ductile Iron, lacoviello F. et al, 2007. Automatic Classification of the Shape of Graphite Particles in Cast Iron. O.F.M. Gomes, Paciornic S, 2005. M. Sarfraz and A Ridha, Content-based Image Retrieval using Multiple Shape Descriptors, IEEE 1-4244-1031-2/07, 2007. Xaviour Arnould, Michel Coster, Jean-Louis Chermant, Liliane Chermant, Thierry Chartier and Abder Elmoataz, Segmentation and Grain Size of Ceramics, Image Anal Stereol, France 2001, pp.131-135.

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Authors Profile

Md Mushtaq Ahmed, has completed BE (Mech) from BKEC, Basavakalyan (Karnataka, India) and perusing M-Tech (Prod. Engg.) from PDA College of Engineering, Gulbarga, India. His areas of interest are, Industrial automation, Production control, Foundry Tech. etc.

B.S.Motgi, Sl.Lecturer has completed BE(Mech) from PDACE, Gulbarga. He has completed M.Tech (Prod. Engg ) from IIT, Kharagpur, His areas of interest is Production of new materials, Industrial automation, etc.

Pattan Prakash, System Analyst, Department of Computer Science, P.D.A. College of Engineering, Gulbarga, Karnataka, India. He has obtained M.Sc. (Information Technology) degree in 2003 and M. Tech. (Information Technology) degree in 2006. He is presently pursuing doctoral research work in Computer Science and Engineering. His research areas of interest are Image Processing and Pattern Recognition. He has published 10 research papers in peer reviewed International Journals and Proceedings of Conferences.

Dr. P.S. Hiremath, Professor, Department of P.G. Studies and Research in Computer Science, Gulbarga University, Gulbarga, Karnataka, India. He has obtained M.Sc. degree in 1973 and Ph.D. degree in 1978 in Applied Mathematics from Karnatak University, Dharwad. He had been in the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science of various Institutions in India, namely, National Institute of Technology, Surathkal (197779), Coimbatore Institute of Technology, Coimbatore (1979-80), National Institute of Technology, Tiruchinapalli (1980-86), Karnatak University, Dharwad (1986-1993) and has been presently working as Professor of Computer Science in Gulbarga University, Gulbarga (1993 onwards). His research areas of interest are Computational Fluid Dynamics, Optimization Techniques, Image Processing and Pattern Recognition. He has published 120 research papers in peer reviewed International Journals and Proceedings of Conferences.

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