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Roughness Measurement of Sliding Metal Surfaces using the Olympus OLS5000 Laser Confocal Microscope


Background

Friction in moving metal parts causes heat and accelerated wear. Friction is significantly affected by the roughness of the sliding surfaces. If the surfaces are very rough with large peaks and valleys, the parts will not move smoothly and could even get stuck. On the other hand, if there are no peaks and valleys on either surface, the lack of any roughness whatsoever may cause the sliding surfaces to fuse together. To achieve the desired level of smoothness between moving metal parts, just the right amount of surface roughness is required. To measure surface roughness, manufacturers typically use contact roughness testers that drag a stylus across metal surfaces. This method is limited by the thickness of the stylus and is not capable of making fine roughness measurements.

The Olympus solutions

The Olympus LEXT 3D laser measuring microscope features a non-contact surface roughness tester that, unlike a stylus, gives you the ability to make planar measurements with a 10 nanometer resolution. This level of precision exceeds what is available with conventional contact surface testers and ensures that roughness measurements are as accurate as possible. Because the LEXT uses a laser to make the surface measurements, it can reach the bottom of tiny irregularities, including those with complex configurations and steep angles (Figure 1).

Features of the product

The LEXT makes 3D observations with ultra-high-resolution measurements and a high pixel density (Figure 2). The non-contact surface roughness measurement technology can measure fine irregularities that conventional contact measurers are unable to detect. The LEXT features high inclination sensitivity for making accurate measurements of complex and steep-sided irregularities.

A comparison of roughness measurements using a contact stylus (upper) versus the laser stylus of the OLS5000 (lower)

Figure 1: A comparison of roughness measurements using a contact stylus (upper) versus the laser stylus of the LEXT (lower)

Image

A 3D rendering of surface roughness produced by the OLS4100

Figure 2: A 3D rendering of surface roughness produced by the LEXT

Olympus IMS
Produits utilisés pour cette application

Le microscope confocal à balayage laser LEXT OLS5000 permet d'effectuer des observations en 3D et des mesures sans contact et non destructives. En appuyant sur le bouton « START », les utilisateurs vont visualiser et mesurer les détails de l’ordre du micromètre au nanomètre.Sa facilité d’utilisation, et ses caractéristiques avancées lui assurent une vitesse d’acquisition quatre fois supérieure à celle du modèle antérieur. Pour l’analyse de plus grands échantillons, les objectifs à distance frontale importante et le statif d’extension permettent de traiter des échantillons pouvant aller jusqu'à 210 mm.
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