This test method is based upon the stereological principle that a grid with a number of regularly arrayed points, when systematically placed over an image of a two-dimensional section through the microstructure, can provide, after a representative number of placements on different fields, an unbiased statistical estimation of the volume fraction of an identifiable constituent or phase (1, 2, 3).3
This test method has been described (4) as being superior to other manual methods with regard to effort, bias, and simplicity.
Any number of clearly distinguishable constituents or phases within a microstructure (or macrostructure) can be counted using the method. Thus, the method can be applied to any type of solid material from which adequate two-dimensional sections can be prepared and observed.
A condensed step-by-step guide for using the method is given in Annex A1.
1.1 This test method describes a systematic manual point counting procedure for statistically estimating the volume fraction of an identifiable constituent or phase from sections through the microstructure by means of a point grid.
1.2 The use of automatic image analysis to determine the volume fraction of constituents is described in Practice E 1245.
This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.