A method is described for carrying out image analysis on portland cements in which the differing chemical compositions of the particles are specifically recognized. Representative fields of ca. 100 individual particles are imaged by a backscatter detector in an SEM, then ported to the attached image analyzer. After preliminary procedures, the image analyzer takes control of the SEM and individually rasters over each particle in turn to acquire both chemical (EDX) and geometrical information. The recorded EDX spectra are used to automatically assign each particle to its predominant mineralogical phase At the same time, conventional feature analysis parameters are acquired for each particle, including measurements of area, length, width, perimeter, shape, etc. The results of the analysis of a given cement constitutes a data base of all of the particles analyzed. It can be used to provide global characterization, or features can be broken out by size class, mineralogical type, shape, or various combinations of parameters. Illustrations are provided of the results of such analysis for a cement, and possible applications to clinker, cement paste, and concrete are considered.