The shape of aggregates used in concrete is an important parameter that helps determine many concrete properties, especially the theology of fresh concrete and early-age mechanical properties. This paper discusses the sample preparation and image analysis techniques necessary for obtaining an aggregate particle image in 3-D, using X-ray computed tomography, which is then suitable for spherical harmonic analysis. The shapes of three reference rocks are analyzed for uncertainty determination via direct comparison to the geometry of their reconstructed images. A Virtual Reality Modeling Language technique is demonstrated that can give quick and accurate 3-D views of aggregates. Shape data on several different kinds of coarse aggregates are compared and used to illustrate potential mathematical shape analyses made possible by the spherical harmonic information. (C) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.