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Bubble Counter[edit]

Bubble Counter is a semi-automated approach to method ASTM C457 "Standard Test Method for Microscopical Determination of Parameters of the Air-Void System in Hardened Concrete". Bubble Counter started with work done by Karl Peterson while at Michigan Technological University, but was further developed by graduate student Jeremy Carlson, and research scientist Jerry Anzalone.

The method employs an inexpensive office scanner and Adobe Photoshop. Polished concrete slabs are prepared to maximize the contrast between air voids and solid phases, they are then scanned and the images analyzed in Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop scripts are available for the analysis, performing the equivalent of a linear traverse and producing a report summarizing the results of analysis. Air content (%) and void frequency are reported and if paste and aggregate parameters are supplied to the script, the spacing factor is also reported.


  1. Concrete samples prepared per requirements of ASTM C457 and further prepared to maximize contrast between air voids and solids.
  2. A flatbed scanner having resolution of 3,175 dpi, uninterpolated.
  3. A white balance card. (We use a homemade one consisting of white and black electrical tape stuck to a 2" square piece of 1/8" steel.)
  4. Adobe Photoshop CS3 or newer.
  5. Reindeer Graphics Tabbed Text plugin [[1]] As of this morning (07/27/2012), their site is incomplete. Until their site is restored, you may download the free plugin here: TabbedTextFormat.8bi
  6. Scripts for performing the analysis. Download (Updated 03/13/2012) (Files explained)=> The most recent file package includes everything to do with BubbleCounter on the development PC. This includes things that might not work.


Installation and Optimization

Sample Preparation


Analyzing Images

Analysis and Optimization Rationale