3D Surface Roughness and Wear Measurement, Analysis and Inspection

Surface Roughness, Texture, and Tribology Classes, Live & Online


MAY 3, 4, & 5, 2023, Livonia, Michigan

Learn more about the May class below

Are you interested in learning about surface texture, wear, friction, sealing, surface energy, paint appearance, and more?

Dr. Don Cohen, one of the country’s foremost experts in surface roughness, is now offering Surface Texture and Tribology short courses, both live in-person and as online learning modules at udemy.com. These courses cover a broad range of topics on surface texture and how it impacts functionality.

Dr. Cohen’s courses are designed for scientists, engineers and technicians working in the fields of automotive, aerospace, materials, polymers, and others. No prior study is required. Learn about our in-person and online class options below.

“This was one of the best classes I have ever taken. It really helped me understand surface texture and simply it made me a better inspector. It helped me see the bigger picture. I guarantee you’re going to want to learn more.”

Agustin Guzmán, Inspector at SpaceX

Watch a video introduction to the Surface Texture and Tribology class

Live Classes

“I Highly recommend this course!” – Ivan Yermolenko

Dr. Cohen presents the Surface Texture and Tribology class several times per year, either in-person or live online in a professional learning environment. If you are a learner who benefits from interacting live with the instructor this is a great opportunity to be able to ask Dr. Cohen questions in real-time.


17199 N. Laurel Park Dr. Livonia, MI 48152, Lower Level Conference Center

The May 2023 class will include two days of lectures on surface metrology, tribology, and related topics, plus a 1/2 day workshop with optical profilers, tribology testers, 3D scanners, and other equipment. Light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Register by April 15, 2023 as seating is limited.

The class covers the following topics:

• Intro to surface texture …why is it important?

• Instruments for surface roughness measurement (stylus, optical, AFM…)

• Filtering of surface texture measurements (2RC, Gaussian…)

• Parameters for surface texture analysis (Sa, Spk, Ssc, etc.)

• Wear (scoring, scuffing, galling, wear volume, wear depth…)

• Friction (how does surface texture relate to friction?)

• Sealing (gaskets, O-rings, lip seals, piston rings…)

• Surface energy/surface texture

• Correlation between non-contact and contacting systems

• Data analysis (T-Test, F-Test, principle components, regression…)

• Specifying surface texture (symbology)

• “Surface Metrology Strategy” (project approach).

All presentation material are provided via email (PDF) prior to the class. Depending on the time and interest, certain presentation modules may be eliminated or substituted. 

Online Classes

If you prefer an online learning environment, we invite you to check out the Surface Roughness, Texture and Tribology course on udemy.com. The course consists of ten modules shown below. The full course includes all ten modules and offers over 11 hours of instruction at a >10% discount. The individual modules can be purchased separately as well for less than $30 each. 

“It was not until I found your videos that so many unanswered questions were answered. The videos you created that teach surface texture and tribology have been a tremendous help!” — Michael Bower, Analytical Chemist

1. Surface Finish: Introduction, Instruments & Correlation – Why surface texture matters; the types of instruments for measuring surface texture; techniques for ensuring measurement correlation. This module is an introduction to the class and to surface texture in general.

2. Filtering for Roughness, Waviness & Form – The process of separating surface texture into short-wavelength roughness, and higher-wavelength waviness and form. Much of the following course material builds on this module, so we recommend it as a starting point.

3. Surface Roughness Parameters – Introduction to common surface texture parameters; amplitude, spatial, hybrid and functional parameters; parameter definitions and meanings; strengths and shortcomings of each parameter for describing various part functionalities.

4. Wear Mechanisms, Measurement and Specification – Wear mechanisms and how they progressively modify a surface and alter its functionality; surface texture parameters for quantifying wear; the relationships between wear and material properties.

5. Dry Friction (Sliding Friction) – The physics of dry, sliding friction; methods for quantifying friction; the relationship between surface texture and friction; the concept of “real contact”; surface texture parameters that relate to, and change with, dry friction.

6. Lubricated Friction – The mechanisms of lubricated friction and how it is quantified; relationships between surface texture and lubricated friction; the hydrodynamic, elastohydrodynamic, mixed and boundary regimes and how friction differs in each.

7. Rolling Friction – The mechanisms of dry, rolling friction; definitions and difference between tractive rolling, tractive friction and rolling friction; the relationship between surface texture, lubrication, and rolling friction.

8. Surface Energy, Wetting & Surface Roughness – The dynamics of surface energy and wetting; surface texture, surface tension, and hysteresis; hydrophilic and hydrophobic surfaces; surface modifications to achieve a desired wettability.

9. Seals, Sealing, & Surface Finish – Types of sealing systems and materials, impact of surface roughness and waviness; surface texture parameters for sealing applications; morphological filters (aka “virtual gaskets”); the Bearing Ratio (or Material Ratio) curve and its application to seals.

10. Coatings: Surface Roughness from Substrate to Topcoat – How surface texture at each level of a coating system affects final appearance; instruments for measuring paint appearance; specifications for controlling spatial wavelength bands on substrates and coating layers.

Customized Classes for your Company

The Surface Texture and Tribology short course can be tailored to your company’s specific needs and interests. A custom class can include all or portions of the material listed above, and can be presented either in-person or online through your internal systems.

Dr. Don Cohen, one of the country’s foremost experts in surface roughness, has been leading customized training sessions in surface roughness, friction, wear, sealing, finishes, and more for nearly two decades. His courses cover a broad range of topics on surface texture and how it impacts functionality.

Contact Us to learn more about customized surface roughness training, or to get a quote for a custom class.

About Don Cohen, Instructor

In 1994, Dr. Cohen established Michigan Metrology to help engineers and scientists solve problems related to “Squeaks, leaks, friction, wear, appearance, adhesion and other issues”, using 3D Surface MicroTexture Measurement and Analysis.

Dr. Cohen is a past Chairman of the STLE-Detroit section and has been active with the ASME B46.1 committee on surface texture since 1988, having served as Chair from 2005-2011. Dr. Cohen is also a Subject Matter Expert for the ISO surface metrology activities.

Dr. Cohen has an undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Michigan, Dearborn, and graduate degrees in Physics and Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona. Early in his career, Dr. Cohen worked with IBM on optical disk drive development. He later joined WYKO Corporation as Product Manger and later became Vice President, leading the development of 3D surface texture metrology instrumentation.

Dr. Cohen has developed this class over the past 20 years having presented the material at numerous client locations as part of his training and consulting activities. Typically once a year the class is offered to a general audience in the Livonia, MI area. 

Contact Us today for more information on our live, online, and customized classes.