Chinese Journal of Chemical Engineering, Vol.28, No.2, 466-476, 2020
Direct image-based fractal characterization of micromorphology of calcium carbonate fouling crystals
Researches on macroscopic fouling behavior and micromorphology are usually conducted separately. In this paper, the relationship between the macroscopic fouling behavior and micromorphology on different materials is established. A direct fractal-characterization approach based on the micrographs of calcium carbonate fouling crystals is presented. The box-counting method is used to characterize the fouling crystals. For fractal measurements, t-distribution tests of linear regression hypothesis are performed at the significance level of 0.01. If all listed absolute t-statistics with the minimum of 164 are higher than the corresponding t value, the fouling crystals are determined as fractal, with a confidence level of 99%. The fractal dimensions obtained from the micrographs of different visual fields of a specimen are demonstrated to be almost identical, with maximum and minimum relative values of 4.42% and 0.75%, respectively, and standard deviations ranging from 0.0062 to 0.0266. The irregularity of the crystal morphology indicates larger fractal dimensions. Comparison and analysis of the relationship between macroscopic fouling behavior and micromorphology show that the larger fractal dimension of crystal morphology suggests a small amount of surface fouling. Thus, the reasons for the differences in the macroscopic fouling behaviors of different materials are revealed geometrically. (C) 2019 The Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China, and Chemical Industry Press Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.