3D Surface Roughness and Wear Measurement, Analysis and Inspection

Welcome to the Surface Roughness Analysis Blog

Why do brakes squeak? When will a gasket leak? What caused the haziness in my painted finish?

Surface texture and function are tightly linked. Understanding the relationship between texture and function, and sharing that information with engineers and quality professionals, is what Michigan Metrology is all about. 

The articles in this blog explore the concepts of surface texture analysis and measurement. We show how you can apply these concepts to solve problems related to leaks, squeaks, appearance, wear, noise, fit, friction, vibration, adhesion, and many other functions.

Looking for more information on specific surface texture parameters? Visit our Surface Texture Parameters Glossary for an introduction to dozens of 3D surface roughness analysis parameters.

And, if you want to learn much more about surface texture consider attending our online and in-person classes for an immersive introduction to the many concepts in surface analysis.

contract measurement lab as part of a production supply chain

A Measurement Lab as Development Partner

February 20, 2024

Startups, incubators, “skunk works…” when a company is in startup mode, everything is happening at once. Manufacturing processes are being designed while funding is being secured and sales are being

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Anthony Musci’s “rock star” engineering career

January 31, 2024

Where can your career take you after your first job has you designing Aston Martin engines? The answer is: everywhere! Anthony Musci describes himself as a “serial entrepreneur,” having applied

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Remembering the early days

January 22, 2024

In August 2024, Michigan Metrology will celebrate our 30th anniversary in surface roughness measurement. Over the next months we will be taking a few trips down memory lane to remember

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surface finish (surface roughness) of smart phone screen

Smart Phones and Space Telescopes

January 9, 2024

Q: What do your cell phone and the Webb Space Telescope have in common? A: The surface finish of their optics! The glass surface of most smart phones boasts a

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Surface Roughness, Texture, and Tribology short course, May 8–9 2024, learn the fundamentals of surface roughness, friction, and wear analysis, and their applications in manufacturing and product development.

Surface Roughness, Texture and Tribology Short Course

January 4, 2024

May 8–9, 2023 Registration is now open for the Surface Roughness, Texture, and Tribology short course, held in Livonia, Michigan, May 8–9, 2024. The 2-day class offers a unique opportunity

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Are you relying on average roughness (Ra) to control your surfaces? We made this short animation using data from Digital Metrology Solutions, Inc. to show that very different surfaces can all have the same Ra value...and that Ra alone can't tell you which one you've manufactured!

Average Roughness

December 12, 2023

If you rely on average roughness (Ra) to control your surfaces, check out this short animation. It shows that very different surfaces can all have the same Ra value…and Ra

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Where is the wear?

December 11, 2023

A joint post with Digital Metrology Solutions. How would you measure the wear on this porous surface? This friction material was subjected to a laboratory wear test and measured by

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Which feature size scales matter for coating adhesion?

November 21, 2023

When it comes to coatings, the amount of surface area matters. We know that increasing the surface area can improve adhesion, and that “roughing up” a surface increases surface area.

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medical device surface roughness and surface texture for bearing surfaces, bonding surfaces, blood flow

What surface finish does a medical device need?

November 14, 2023

For a medical device to function over a long lifespan, we need to accurately specify, measure, and control its surface finishes. Yet, most surface finish specifications rely on parameters that

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My surface got shinier…but the average roughness stayed the same!

October 31, 2023

I have a surface with a certain average roughness value. When I polish the surface, it gets shinier…but the measured number hasn’t changed.! What’s going on? Here’s an example to

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Average Roughness—in surface texture measurement, it's one of the most frequently specified surface roughness parameters. In this video we look at how average roughness (Ra, or Sa) is calculated for 2D (profile) and 3D (areal) measurements. We look at what Ra can — and can't — tell us about a surface. And, we discuss the differences between Ra and Sa, and some similar parameters that you may encounter in surface texture analysis software.

How Do We Define Average Roughness?

October 17, 2023

Average Roughness—in surface texture measurement, it’s one of the most frequently specified surface roughness parameters. In this video we look at how average roughness (Ra, or Sa) is calculated. We

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Honing Plates (Sharpening Stones)

September 26, 2023

Hone plates, or sharpening stones, are used to produce a fine edge on knives, scissors, and other tools. A kit of stones provides progressively finer grit sizes and spacings to

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