Efficient 3D porous microstructure reconstruction via Gaussian random field and hybrid optimization

Z. Jiang, W. Chen*, C. Burkhart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Summary: Obtaining an accurate three-dimensional (3D) structure of a porous microstructure is important for assessing the material properties based on finite element analysis. Whereas directly obtaining 3D images of the microstructure is impractical under many circumstances, two sets of methods have been developed in literature to generate (reconstruct) 3D microstructure from its 2D images: one characterizes the microstructure based on certain statistical descriptors, typically two-point correlation function and cluster correlation function, and then performs an optimization process to build a 3D structure that matches those statistical descriptors; the other method models the microstructure using stochastic models like a Gaussian random field and generates a 3D structure directly from the function. The former obtains a relatively accurate 3D microstructure, but computationally the optimization process can be very intensive, especially for problems with large image size; the latter generates a 3D microstructure quickly but sacrifices the accuracy due to issues in numerical implementations. A hybrid optimization approach of modelling the 3D porous microstructure of random isotropic two-phase materials is proposed in this paper, which combines the two sets of methods and hence maintains the accuracy of the correlation-based method with improved efficiency. The proposed technique is verified for 3D reconstructions based on silica polymer composite images with different volume fractions. A comparison of the reconstructed microstructures and the optimization histories for both the original correlation-based method and our hybrid approach demonstrates the improved efficiency of the approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-148
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Microscopy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 2013


  • 3D microstructure reconstruction
  • Correlation function
  • Gaussian random field
  • Hybrid optimization approach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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