Where should I read up on surface metrology?

Summer is coming, which for some means long, lazy hours spent reading on the beach or by the pool. But why not take a break from the latest bestseller to brush up on your surface metrology skills? Here are some recommendations.

1. Start with the leading authorities on surface metrology

Should you be looking for technical information about instrument techniques and in particular optical surface texture instruments, Optical measurement of surface topography published by Springer is a book not to be missed.

This collective work edited by Professor Richard Leach contains several chapters written by leading specialists of each technique.

Chapters cover the following techniques:

Chromatic confocal microscopy

Point autofocus instruments

Focus variation instruments

Phase-shifting interferometry

Coherence scanning interferometry

Digital holographic microscopy

Imaging confocal microscopy

Light scattering methods.

Most of these techniques are supported in the ISO 25178-60x series but this book provides more detailed information and describes a variety of case studies.

Another excellent reference book is Characterisation of areal surface texture, also published by Springer. This book describes post-processing and filtering methods in detail as well as surface texture parameters and also provides several practical applications.

Chapters cover the following techniques:

Areal field parameters

Areal feature parameters

Areal filtering methods

Areal form removal

Areal fractal methods

Choosing appropriate parameters

Characterization of individual features

Multi-scale signature of a surface

It also describes a range of applications including solar cells, cylinder liners, laser structured cams and road surfaces.

2. Check out a few scientific publications

Application examples can also be found in scientific publications where authors explore material properties or process efficiency using surface texture tools.

A list of more than 800 publications is provided in Digital Surf's free online metrology guide: Scientific publications using Mountains®

The following excerpts highlight some interesting examples:

Metrological changes in the surface morphology of cereal grains in the mixing process (2016)

Study of the relationship between the moisture content of maize grains and 3D roughness parameters, in particular kurtosis and skewness parameters.

The Use of Focus-Variation Microscopy for the Assessment of Active Surfaces of a New Generation of Coated Abrasive Tools (2016)

This paper explores several surface texture parameters and analyses to characterize abrasive grains, using several instrument techniques.

Impact of GEM foil hole geometry on GEM detector gain (2015)

This paper exposes a characterization method of the geometry of gas electron multiplier holes using contour and step height analyses.

Influence of grinding conditions on the topographic characteristics of machined surfaces (2014)

Using frequency analysis, wavelets, fractal and motifs analysis, this paper demonstrates the differentiation of turning and grinding surfaces of same Sa value, depending on machining conditions.

Use of close range photogrammetry to assess the micro-texture of asphalt surfacing aggregates (2013)

Results obtained from 3D volume parameters for tracking wear on rock aggregates.

3. And don't forget the MountainsMap® Reference Guide

The MountainsMap® Reference Guide is the documentation installed with the software that can be displayed by pressing the F1 key anytime.

But it is not only a user help guide on how to use the software, it also contains valuable metrological information on standards, filters, as well as on mathematical algorithms used such as the Fourier transform or the autocorrelation function.

This online reference guide is available on paper as a reference manual, a 750-page book printed in color, in English, German and French.

This text was first published in the Surface Newsletter, Summer 2016.