3D Surface Roughness and Wear Measurement, Analysis and Inspection

Decreasing Vibration

Shudder in a car’s brakes or steering mechanism can give an impression of poor quality. But far more than just an annoyance, vibrations in cars, industrial machinery, and aircraft components can lead to premature wear and, potentially, component failure. In many instances, close inspection of the surface roughness of mating components can uncover the sources—and … Read more

Ensuring Fit

Precision mating components, such as this press-fit electrical connector, must fit and function perfectly straight off the assembly line—and they must function just as well for the entire lifespan of the device. Areal (3D) surface texture measurement can show how mating surfaces will fit, slide, stick or slip. Wear analysis, including accelerated wear testing, can … Read more

Optimizing Adhesion

Adhesion can be an asset for non-slip mats or athletic shoes, or it can be a serious detriment for sliding or rolling components, engine parts, gears, etc.. To quantify adhesion we need to understand how the contacting surfaces move against each, and the degree of friction is involved. When surfaces are in contact, not all points are … Read more

Reducing Noise

Noisy components are one of the most frequent quality and warranty issues. Components such as bearings, pumps, clutches, and brakes may experience noise, such as squealing and chatter, that may be related to surface texture or phenomena such as “stick-slip.” Michigan Metrology provides volume measurement of surface roughness, and expert surface analysis, to pinpoint the … Read more

Improving Appearance

From car panels to plumbing fixtures to consumer goods, excellent appearance of finishes and coatings is key to presenting a sense of quality and durability. Through areal (3D) surface roughness measurement we can quantify a surface’s texture based on the spatial wavelengths present in the substrate and coating layers. Michigan Metrology can provide the data … Read more

Measuring Wear

Wear is a progressive modification to a surface. It’s not necessarily a process of removal, however—material may also be redistributed, or even added, depending on the wear mechanism. Surface roughness measurement can be used to quantify wear throughout a component’s lifetime. Using an optical profiler, large field-of-view, 3D (areal) surface data can be acquired. The depth, … Read more

Controlling Friction

Transmission clutch mechanisms and other complex systems require tight control of friction characteristics. Surface texture parameters such as Peak Heights, Valley Depths, Spacings and other bearing area related parameters (Spk, Sk, Svk) can be specified to control production processes and optimize friction characteristics. Michigan Metrology has been on the forefront of relating surface roughness to … Read more

Eliminating Squeaks

Why does a brake system that meets Average Roughness specs still make noise? We receive questions like this every day. The drawings specify an average roughness value—yet parts that perform well and parts that perform poorly all meet the spec. In many cases, squeaks and squeals may be related to 3D surface roughness. Using surface … Read more

Predicting Leaks

Areal (3D) measurements helps us quantify aspects of surface texture that is difficult, or impossible, to gain from 2D stylus measurements. Leak paths, for example, only become apparent when we can visualize and analyze an area of the surface. But 3D data is just the beginning—we also need to track the right parameters to find … Read more