A Short Guide to Optical Roughness Measurements

Roughness is very important for a component’s function. Alicona provide optical, high resolution, areal based roughness measurement. This allows the sustainable assessment of the process of manufacturing, based on a number of evaluation options chosen by the user. The following fundamentals contribute to the most efficient potential use of these options needed to attain total optimization.

Irrespective of scale, all surfaces share a number of basic characteristics that are mutually independent from each other. Examples of these are roughness, waves, and mounds or other geometrical shapes. The magnitude of these characteristics identifies how appropriate a work-piece is for a certain task. The abnormality in form of a machined component is the product of the deviations between the spindle and work piece axes. Waviness develops as a consequence of machine variations, while roughness is the product of cutting conditions and tool geometry.

Roughness in Technical Drawings

Designers illustrate the workpiece contours as sharp, straight lines. The task undertaken in manufacturing is to transform these drawings into a finished work piece that corresponds to the design as closely as possible. Nevertheless, since the development of a work piece will always differ from its idealized drawing, designers must explain the functions of surfaces in the drawing in such a way that they can be fulfilled by the final workpiece.

Measurement Process

The major requirement in making sure that repeatable roughness measurements of the greatest possible accuracy are achieved is to determine the ideal measurement settings. The Alicona Roughness Poster presents a guideline for selecting the right measurement settings and also offers additional information on standardized roughness measurement. The following flowchart shows the process for optical roughness measurements:

Form Removal

In the measurement of roughness, where the 3D data record indicates a significant form, the real form shoule first be removed. To accomplish this, a number of forms are available, including cone, cylinder, plane, sphere, and parabola. If the form does not match to any of the above or is unknown, a polynomial is removed instead.

Profile Roughness or Areal Surface Texture

Profile roughness measurements are utilized for surfaces with directional texture, such as turned surfaces, and roughness measurements that must be equivalent to tactile values. Areal surface texture measurements, conversely, are used for:

  • Surfaces that have non-directional texture
  • Determining the roughness of textured surfaces with complex shapes
  • Measuring the flatness of surfaces
  • Measuring complex parameters

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Alicona Imaging GmbH.

For more information on this source, please visit Alicona Imaging GmbH.


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