Olympus Logo
Olympus LogoOlympus Logo
Application Notes
Back to Resources

Abrasion Resistance Evaluation for Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN) Tipped Tools using the Olympus OLS4100 Laser Confocal Microscope


Cubic boron nitride (CBN) is a hard compound commonly used as an abrasive. CBN lathe tips are used to manufacture critical components requiring precise machining. The CBN tips are durable, but they wear out over time. Machining parts with worn out CBN tips can lead to costly manufacturing defects and poor quality. Consequently, CBN tips must be routinely inspected.

The Olympus solutions

The Olympus OLS4100 3D measuring laser microscope is ideal for inspecting CBN tips because of its 5 nm minimum resolution. The OLS4100 enables users to create 3D images of the object being inspected providing a high-resolution, detailed visual image of potential wear (Figure 1).

Features of the product

The OLS4100 features ultra-high-resolution images with high pixel density for accurate 3D observations. While conventional laser microscopes have difficulty making accurate measurements of samples with steep angles, the OLS4100 reliably measures steep angles and complex geometries. In addition, the OLS4100 features a surface roughness mode that measures line roughness on one line and plane roughness on the entire surface.


3D images of cubic boron nitride (CBN) tip before use
3D images of cubic boron nitride (CBN) tip after use
Figure 1: 3D images of a cubic boron nitride (CBN) tip before (left) and after (right) use

Olympus IMS

Products used for this application


With the Olympus LEXT OLS5000 laser scanning confocal microscope, noncontact, nondestructive 3D observations and measurements are easy to produce. Simply by pushing the Start button, users can measure fine shapes at the submicron level. Ease of use is combined with leading-edge features to deliver an acquisition speed four times faster than our previous model. For customers with larger samples, LEXT long working distance objectives and an extended frame option allow the system to accommodate samples as large as 210 mm.
Sorry, this page is not available in your country

Let us know what you're looking for by filling out the form below.