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.

Surface roughness and friction, 3-part series looks at the case of dry, sliding friction and discuss how surface roughness and materials impact the surface as a bearing.

Which surface textures & materials make good bearings?

January 30, 2023

In this 3-part series we look at the case of dry, sliding friction and discuss how surface roughness and materials impact the surface as a bearing. PART 1. Real area

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Curling and surface roughness - the ice for curling is a precision surface, manufactured following precise processes and controlled by metrology

Curling again! Applying the lessons of micro-texture to the macro texture of curling ice

January 23, 2023

We’ve had a lot going on related to ice lately! It is that time of year… A few months ago, we posted an article about the sport of curling, which

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ice and friction, ice skate on ice, Michigan Metrology

Ice and friction – there’s a lot going on!

January 19, 2023

Want to maximize your fun while skating? Make sure that the ice temperature is -7°C! For many years I thought that concentrated pressure is what melts the ice when you

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non-contact optical 3d measurement of aircraft engine, 4d inspec surface gauge, courtesy 4D Technology and BP Aero

When is “non-contact measurement” important?

January 9, 2023

For surface roughness measurement, it would seem like “non-contact” methods would always be preferable. After all, being able to measure a surface with no possibility of contact damage would always

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Michigan Metrology holiday greetings 2022

Seasons Greetings from Michigan Metrology

December 20, 2022

We wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a great season and happy new year. We’d like to express our gratitude for making it through all of the “peaks

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Capillarity and Wetting Phenomena - Drops Bubbles Pearls Waves, Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Françoise Brochard-Wyart, David Quéré, 2003

Capillarity and Wetting Phenomena: Drops, Bubbles, Pearls, Waves

December 12, 2022

Pierre-Gilles de Gennes, Françoise Brochard-Wyart, David Quéré, 2003 When I started the Surface Roughness, Texture and Tribology class some 20 years ago I searched for good descriptions of the physics

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Surface Roughness, Texture, and Tribology class and workshop, which will be held in Livonia, Michigan, May 3–5. 2023

Register for the Spring “Roughness, Texture, and Tribology” class and workshop

December 5, 2022

Registration is open for the Roughness, Texture, and Tribology class and workshop, which will be held in Livonia, Michigan, May 3–5. 2023. This live, in-person class offers a unique opportunity to learn

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bearing ratio parameter ratios, spk/sk, svk/sk, spk/svk surface texture parameters

Ratio Parameters (Spk/Sk, Svk/Sk, Spk/Svk)

November 30, 2022

Tracking the ratio of several bearing ratio parameters can provide information about the symmetry of the surface texture, which can sometimes be more important than the amplitudes of the peaks

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Benoit Mandelbrot and fractal mathematics

Remembering Benoit Mandelbrot

November 16, 2022

Benoit Mandelbrot, whose birthday we commemorate on November 20, found commonality in the math that describes patterns and distributions in nature and modern life. Mandelbrot saw order in phenomena that

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ASME B46.1 standard for surface roughness, waviness, and lay

What is ASME B46.1?

November 8, 2022

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ ASME B46.1 standard defines surface roughness, waviness, and lay, as well as parameters for specifying and controlling surface texture. Learn what it covers and

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surface roughness cutoff wavelengths - surface texture filtering - michigan metrology

What do you do if you don’t know the cutoff length?

November 1, 2022

Cutoffs define the band of spatial wavelengths that will be included in the calculation of surface texture parameters. Per specifications, the cutoffs must be specified. So, what do you do

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Anton van Beek Advanced Engineering Design is an essential engineering resource for tribology and surface metrology.

Advanced Engineering Design: Lifetime Performance and Reliability

October 25, 2022

In my office I have dozens of books that I consider primary engineering texts. But there are a few that I consider essential. Anton van Beek’s Advanced Engineering Design is

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