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Surface profile evaluation for thermal spraying / Surface roughness measurement using a laser microscope


Thermal spraying is a technique used for surface modification. The material that is going to be sprayed is first heated to a nearly molten state. The heated material is then sprayed on the target object at high speed to deposit a coating. Air pores that form in this coating create a surface that is resistant to thermal shock and impregnation. Thermal spraying can be applied to various materials including metals, ceramics, and plastics. Likewise, the material that is sprayed can also be a metal, alloy, or ceramic. There is no thermal effect on the target object and no limitation on target dimensions.
Sand blasting is used to roughen the surface of the substrate to strengthen the adhesion between the substrate and the sprayed particles. The roughness of both the sand blasted surface and the resulting surface post thermal spraying both needs to be evaluated. When these surface irregularities are minute, it may be difficult to accurately measure the bottom of a concavity using conventional contact-type roughness measurement instruments.

Olympus' solution

Olympus' LEXT 3D scanning laser microscope enables high-resolution, high-definition observation of a substrate before thermal spraying is applied and the resulting surface after thermal spraying. The LEXT makes it easy to obtain three-dimensional data with no contact to measure the surface roughness quantitatively.

Thermal spraying of alumina

Thermal spraying of tungsten carbide

Substrate surface

alumina_substrate surface

carbide_substrare surface

Surface after thermal spraying

alumina_surface after thermal spraying
20X objective lens; 1x zoom

carbide_surface after thermal spraying
20X objective lens; 1x zoom

Olympus IMS

Products Used for This Application

The LEXT™ OLS5100 laser scanning microscope combines exceptional accuracy and optical performance with smart tools that make the system easy to use. The tasks of precisely measuring shape and surface roughness at the submicron level are fast and efficient, simplifying your workflow and delivering high-quality data you can trust.

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