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Measuring Surface Roughness: The Benefits of Laser Confocal Microscopy

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3D imaging and ultrahigh resolution are ideal for the inspection of materials with defined surface finishes and textures.

ROBERT BELLINGER, OLYMPUS AMERICA INC.

When evaluating the surface of a component, surface roughness can be assessed by eye or by rubbing it with a fingertip. Common expressions include “shiny,” “lusterless and rough,” “like oxidized silver,” or “like a mirror.” The differences indicated by these terms are caused by the variations in the irregularities of the component’s surface. The level of shininess — or asperity — of a surface is an important characteristic and can be quantified. Surface irregularities may be intentionally created by machining, but they...Read full article

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