Identifying Flaws in Drive Technology with Surface Metrology

A few micrometers are often decisive for optimal efficiency and performance even in the diesel engine of a large ship, and in practically every engine used today. Manufacturing processes are becoming increasingly more accurate in every area.

Image Credit: Shutterstock/Aris Suwanmalee

Whether in microsystems technology or drive technology: the accurate design of an engine or component down to the micrometer is a reality. This advancement has been made possible due to these parts being controlled more accurately than ever before, in greater detail and down to the nano level.

Therefore, surface metrology has been able to provide critical impulses in the past decade.

Planarity, Accuracy and the Right Coating

Drive technology is active in a highly complex area where there are several varied application examples. Many factors play a role in this such as:

  •   The planarity of surfaces
  •   The accuracy of the smallest components
  •   The proper coating of internal motor components, along with many others.

Surface measuring tools can be utilized for all of these factors and can assess parameters that are required for efficiency and function.

Examples of Highly Stressed Surfaces

One example is where the material ratio curve enables conclusions to be made about the function of highly mechanically stressed surfaces for example sealing or sliding surfaces. Another example would be where core roughness depths give information about the effective roughness depth in the engine cylinder or plain bearings.

Additionally, the oil holding volume parameter can be utilized to assess the amount of oil adhering to a cylinder once it has been wiped off by piston rings.

Complex Components

Optical surface measuring tools from FRT are employed for the metrological measurement of:

  • Shafts
  • Axles
  • Liners
  • Bearing shells (inside and outside)
  • Valve tappets
  • Connecting rod bearings or crankshaft
  • Cylindrical surfaces in housings
  • Cylinder liners, and more

Figure 1. worn rotary shaft seal 

Figure 2. 3D view of the outer area of the injection nozzle

Figure 3. Top view of the surface of an injection nozzle and needle

Example: Honing Structure

The sensor with chromatic height coding gives accurate data on practically all surfaces and is well established. This allows for a vertical resolution of a few nanometers and a lateral resolution in the range of around 1 μm.

The quality of the honing structure can be measured in this way and has an important influence on the emergency running properties, exhaust emissions, lifetime, oil consumption and running-in behavior of an engine.

Modern Surface Measurement Technology from FRT

Flexibility, the ability to retrofit and being future-oriented are the most important qualities to find in modern measuring tools. The respected FRT multi-sensor technology provides optimum flexibility. Different optical measuring methods which once could only be achieved with separate solutions, are now combined in a single universal, space-saving tool.

A range of sensors for measuring sample thickness, topography, and film thickness can be found in one system. Imagine the benefits of a surface measuring tool that combines various technologies such as atomic force microscopy, chromatic methods, and confocal microscopy in a single, simple-to-use workflow.

It is then possible to solve a measuring task with various sensors by conducting a measurement with each sensor. The range of results is then determined with each other.

The recipe used and the measuring tool need to know the total measuring task and completely implement. Therefore, the software records the various measurement results and calculates the ideal parameters from them along with the measurements by all necessary sensors being automatically completed.

The MicroProf® Series

The MicroProf® measuring tools provide the option of double-sided sample inspection. This enables the measurement of the top and bottom side of the sample to be completed simultaneously, thereby determining the sample thickness.

This makes it possible to specify the total thickness variation (TTV) of the sample along with surface parameters such as the flatness and roughness of both sides.

Another huge benefit of optical surface metrology is its quick measuring time. Measurements can be completed with optical sensors in a few minutes, where tactile systems commonly complete them over several hours. Lastly, the optical measurement is non-contact and non-destructive and can be fully, automatically integrated into production processes.

Further information can be found here.

For further comments or questions, please contact FRT where the experts will be pleased to provide solutions to measuring tasks.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by FRT Metrology.

For more information on this source, please visit FRT Metrology.


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