Measuring specific surface area of particles

Hi, I am trying to measure specific surface area of some aggregates. Is it possible to do with imagej? can somebody plz mention the procedure?


Can you be more specific about what you want to measure? Then it’s easier for others to help.



So basically what I want to have as an output is the sum of areas of the surfaces of particles.

“Specific surface area (SSA) is a property of solids defined as the total surface area of a material per unit of mass, (with units of m²/kg or m²/g) or solid or bulk volume (units of m²/m³ or m−1). It is a derived scientific value that can be used to determine the type and properties of a material (e.g. soil or snow)”

Hope its better explained now.

That means in a stack of 2D planes, the sum of perimeter of the particles in all of the planes will give the 3D specific surface area.

You can do this in different ways.

The easiest way would be to measure the background and substract the area from the total area to get the particles total area.

Threshold or classifiy the image background for a measurement.

If you need to seperate different classes of particles a classification could be appropriate (or again thresholding) followed by an particle analysis in ImageJ, see:

You also find several examples in the archives of this forum.


Have a look at the 3D objects counter and 3D suite if you want to measure 3d objects in a stack:

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Hi and thx for the tips, Asumming you have a cube with edge lentgh of 2 units, by following your instruction what you get is the area of a projected square in a 2D plane (a=2^2) however what I am looking for would be 6(n_{faces})(2^2).

Hi Again, Sorry for all the posts, I am using Imagej for the first time.
So I tried Bonej which seems to be able to give surface area as an output however when I run the plugin I get the below log file but cant see the actual numbers, any idea?

You have to download the lifeline version to run the plugin as discussed here:


Thanks a lot, Appreciate the help.

Have you solved this problem?I come across this problem in work recently.And the most difficult problem is which theory can be used to calculate the specific surface area of the particles(3D properties )by the cross section (2D properties including primeter and cross area) ?
I would appreciate much if you could reply.

BoneJ calculates particle surface area by summing the areas of triangles that comprise the surface mesh. The main limitation of this technique is the degree to which the surface mesh smooths or averages out roughness on the surface. If you choose a high surface averaging or resampling you can miss fine details, but if you don’t average at all the mesh starts to represent the underlying cuboid pixel grid.

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Have you been successful to use ImageJ to calculate the surface of the particles? If yes I really appreciate if you could tell me how. Furthermore, I want to calculate the volume of the particles, I do not know how…
Thank you in advance,

Try BoneJ’s Particle Analyser, It can do surface area and volume. You have two options for volume, one (default, faster) just counts pixels and multiplies by pixel dimensions. The other calculates the volume enclosed by the surface mesh. The difference in volume between surface mesh and pixel counting methods gives an indication about certainty or methodological bias. If there is a big per cent difference between enclosed volume and pixel volume then you should be suspicious about the result (also about the surface area result) and may need to change the smoothing value to reduce the difference. If you use this in a publication, please cite: