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.

Donald Cohen of Michigan Metrology is an expert in surface roughness, surface texture, 3D surface roughness measurement and tribology

A little tribology every morning

September 13, 2022

Years ago, I’d just completed one of my first major surface roughness measurement projects, and I was considering my next steps to form an actual business. I thought that I

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Rpc, or Stylus (X,Y) Pc surface roughness parameter measures the number of peaks per unit length of surface texture.

Parameters Primer: Rpc, or Stylus (X,Y) Pc

September 6, 2022

Rpc is the Peak Density in the X or Y direction of surface texture data. It is a measure of the number of peaks per unit length (i.e., peaks/mm) in

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Scaling vs autoscaling (auto-scaling) in 3d surface roughness measurement data - Michigan Metrology

Scaling and Auto-Scaling

August 29, 2022

The vertical scale of most surface roughness data is highly exaggerated so that the detail can be more readily discerned. In reality, the actual slopes are fairly gradual. At 1:1

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Osborne Reynolds

The work of Osborne Reynolds

August 22, 2022

Osborne Reynolds, born August 23, 1842 Many engineers will recognize Osborne Reynolds as a pioneer in the studies of fluid mechanics and air flow. But Reynolds was also a key

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surface roughness measurement, contract measurement lab, michigan metrology

What can I expect from a contract measurement lab?

August 15, 2022

Accurate measurement keeps processes within specifications, which is, of course, key to producing quality goods. But the equipment required to acquire accurate data can be expensive to purchase and operate.

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Void Volume parameters, surface texture parameters

What are the Void Volume Parameters?

August 8, 2022

Fluid retention is a critical function of the surface texture in many applications. These surfaces may need to retain oil for lubrication, for example, or fluids may need to be

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Wear mechanisms, scoring, scuffing, galling - Michigan Metrology

Scoring, scuffing, and galling

August 2, 2022

So many wear mechanisms…so many definitions “Wear” is the progressive modification to a surface. It may result in a loss, deposit, or redistribution of material[1]. Quantifying different types of wear

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Friction and Wear of Materials, Ernest Rabinowicz, surface roughness and friction - Michigan Metrology

Friction and Wear of Materials

July 25, 2022

For those of you who have taken my class, you know that this is an important resource for me. Ernest Rabinowicz really pioneered our understanding of friction and wear, both

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Leaks, squeaks, fit, friction, noise, vibration, appearance, wear, adhesion - Michigan Metrology

The “leaks and squeaks” images

July 18, 2022

Over the years we’ve shown these images frequently on our website (which has just been updated, by the way!). Taken together, they sum up the kinds of issues we see—and

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Bandpass and Notch Filters

July 11, 2022

It’s a regular refrain on this blog: surface texture consists of a spectrum of spatial wavelengths, ranging from shorter spatial-wavelength roughness through longer spatial-wavelength waviness and form. Through the process

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Surface Texture - Floyd Firestone

Celebrating Floyd Firestone

July 5, 2022

Floyd Alburn Firestone was an acoustical physicist with wide-ranging talents, with important contributions in fields including acoustics, non-destructive testing, medicine, and surface texture. He is remembered as developing the first

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Leaks and Surface Roughness - Rotary lip seal leaks due to macro lead and micro lead

Micro vs macro lead

June 28, 2022

Rotary lip seals create a boundary around shafts in rotary equipment, typically to retain lubricant on one side versus air or gas on the other. On first consideration, it would

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