the present study had the objective of developing a non-conventional method to determine mechanical damage in soybean seeds, and also to verify its relation to the physiological quality, using the image analysis technique. unlike the traditional tests, this technique analyzes seeds without destroying them, and together with the germination test, it can be observed that the damage detected in the image analysis is really important because of its influence on the germination process. the research was carried out with three cultivars of soybean (ft-2, ft-10 and iac-2), possessing different contents of lignin in the seed coat (different resistance performance for mechanical damage). the mechanical damage had been caused by means of the pendulum test in six different regions of the seeds. the image analysis identified external and internal mechanical damage in soybean seeds, and was also efficient in detecting weathering and stink-bug damage.