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.
Smoother is better…?May 25, 2022
It’s a common intuition that smoother surface texture is “better” for rotating or sliding over another component. It seems natural that a smoother surface would wear less, have lower friction,
What is the F-Operator (and why can’t I find it on my machine)?May 18, 2022
You may have heard the term “F-Operator” and wondered what it is, and how it’s used. As we mention often, surface texture consists of a spectrum of spatial wavelengths, ranging
Real area of contactMay 11, 2022
Scientists and philosophers through the ages have struggled with the concepts of friction. Leonardo da Vinci studied many aspects of friction, bearings, etc. In one set of experiments, he tied
Sticky: The Secret Science of SurfacesMay 4, 2022
I just finished reading this great book that nicely covers many aspects of surface roughness and tribology. The author, Laurie Winkless, is a physicist who loves communicating about science and
Remembering Frank BowdenApril 27, 2022
May 2 will mark the birthday of Frank Philip Bowden who, along with David Tabor, laid the groundwork for much of our modern understanding of friction and lubrication. “Putting two
Surface texture: a GD&T lab may not have the measurement toolsApril 20, 2022
High-precision surface texture measurement systems are more widely available now than they were 10 or 15 years ago. Yet, purchasing such systems can still be difficult to justify for small
Typical Average Roughness values for various machining operationsApril 13, 2022
Ra (Roughness Average, or average roughness) is the average height of all measured points on a surface. Ra is the most widely used surface texture parameter. As we’ve mentioned elsewhere
Choosing an interferometric objectiveApril 6, 2022
Though an optical profiler and stylus measurement system are very different technologies, they do also have some similarities. If you are used to working with stylus-based measurement systems, you know
Wear means “material removal”…doesn’t it?March 30, 2022
When we think of how to measure wear, the first thought might be to quantify how much material has been removed from a surface. We might look at a change
Curling: the international sport of tribology!March 23, 2022
Curling is an international, Olympic sport that is a challenge of both skill and strategy. If you search the Internet, you’ll find videos describing the immense amount of care that
Traversing length, evaluation length and sampling lengthMarch 16, 2022
When measuring roughness with a stylus-based system you’ll hear the terms “traversing length,” “evaluation length” and “sampling length.” It’s important to understand their specific meanings and to adhere to them
When Rz isn’t RzMarch 9, 2022
Rz is always Rz…isn’t it? Usually, but not necessarily. Rz, the average maximum surface height, is one of the most widely used surface texture parameters. It’s calculated by finding the maximum