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.

Average Roughness basics

January 23, 2021

How do I measure a Ra 32? or 32 Ra? or 32? Average roughness (Ra) is the tip of the deep and complex world of surface texture analysis. As you’ll

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Multiscale surface texture analysis in action

December 20, 2020

Paint appearance is critical to the perception of quality, particularly in consumer goods such as automobiles. We’ve written frequently in this blog about surface texture consisting of a spectrum of

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When wear looks like filtering (and vice versa)

November 19, 2020

Wear between two surfaces in contact can take the form of mechanisms such as ploughing, abrasion, adhesion, fatigue, etc. The initial phase of a component’s life will involve some period

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Using Ssc and Sds to understand how surfaces interact and wear

October 18, 2020

When surfaces move against each in contact, we need to understand how the surfaces interact, how much friction is involved, and how they will wear in response to the contact.

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Making the change from R Parameters to S Parameters

September 17, 2020

We are commonly asked to clarify the differences between R and S surface roughness parameters. This often comes up when someone begins working with a new instrument, part or process

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Parameters Primer: ACF (Autocorrelation Function)

August 16, 2020

The autocorrelation function (ACF) is a measure of how random or periodic a surface is. ACF is found by creating a duplicate of the surface, then shifting the duplicate relative

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Analyzing steel clutch reaction plates

July 15, 2020

Applying the Material Ratio parameters — case study In our post of a few weeks ago we discussed the Stylus (X,Y) parameters, which are derived from the 2D Bearing Ratio

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Surface texture measurement – Ra, Rz, Rmax, Rz1max, Maximum Height

June 22, 2020

This article discusses several key surface texture measurement parameters: average roughness (Ra), average maximum surface height (Rz), maximum of all per-sampling-length peak-to-valley heights (RMax), and the Maximum Height (Rz1max). We

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Surface finish for medical devices

June 14, 2020

Artificial medical devices prolong life and preserve quality of living. To design devices that will function reliably and safely for decades requires careful attention to materials and surface finish. Accurately

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Parameters Primer: Stylus(X,Y) Parameters

May 12, 2020

The Stylus (X, Y) parameters (Rk, Rpk and Rvk) are derived from the Bearing Area Curve, based on the ISO 13565-2:1996 standard. The Bearing Area Curve, (also called the Bearing Ratio Curve, or

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Nanometer-scale roughness

April 11, 2020

“Nanometer-scale” surface roughness may seem rare and specialized. But, in fact, many components and common products require nanometer-scale, or sub-nanometer-scale, average roughness (Sa) in order to function properly. The ability to

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How many measurements?

March 3, 2020

Multiple surface texture measurements made in different locations over a surface will generally demonstrate some variation in the texture parameter being assessed, such as average roughness (Ra) or peak-to-valley height

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