Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

SEM/X-Ray Imaging of Cement-Based Materials



Dale P. Bentz, Paul E. Stutzman, C Haecker, S Remond


Scanning electron microscopy and X-ray imaging techniques have been developed for imaging the complex microstructure of cement-based materials such as cement powder and fly ash. By combining the information available in the backscattered electron and relevant X-ray images, an accurate segmentation of the image into individual cement clinker phases or other components can be accomplished. This paper reviews the image acquisition and processing techniques used in performing this analysis, as well as the statistics that can be used to characterize the final 2-D microstructures, such as area fractions, surface fractions, and correlation functions. In addition, two applications are presented: 1) the imaging of a series of fly ashes from different sources, and 2) the analysis of cement microstructure as a function of grinding fineness. The resultant images provide the quantitative characterization needed for input into three-dimensional computer models of cement hydration and microstructural development.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of the 7th Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials
Conference Dates
June 29-July 2, 1999
Conference Location
Delft, NL
Conference Title
Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials


building technology, correlation, image analysis, microstructure, scanning electron microscopy, segmentation, x-ray imaging


Bentz, D. , Stutzman, P. , Haecker, C. and Remond, S. (1999), SEM/X-Ray Imaging of Cement-Based Materials, Proceedings of the 7th Euroseminar on Microscopy Applied to Building Materials, Delft, NL, [online], (Accessed April 18, 2024)
Created August 1, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017