Choosing the Right Profilometer for your Needs

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A profilometer is an instrument used to measure surface topography, including surface roughness, profile/dimension, flatness, volume, and step height. The choice of profilometer is often determined by which of these characteristics is required to be measured for the application.

Nanovea supply a range of profilometers that can be used to measure all of the characteristics mentioned above. Our range of profilometers are designed with leading edge Chromatic Confocal optical technology and are both ISO and ASTM compliant.

Chromatic Confocal optical technology measures a physical wavelength that is directly related to specific height, without the use of any complex algorithms. This technology provides accurate results for all surface conditions.

This article outlines different profilometers from Nanovea for these different measurements.

Surface Roughness Measurement

Profilometers that use Chromatic Confocal optical technology have the highest level of precision when measuring surface roughness, texture, and finish. The standards that Nanovea profilometers meet for surface roughness measurement are ISO 25178, ISO 4287, ISO 13565, and ASME B46.1 (this includes the GB/T, DIN, JIS, NF, BSI, UNI, UNE ISO equivalents.

Surface roughness measurement covers a variety of different analysis parameters, including 2D and 3D mean roughness, root mean square roughness, maximum height, maximum pit height, kurtosis, and skewness.

Nanovea profilometers can also be used to perform more advanced roughness measurements, including spectral analysis to determine the periodicity and orientation of certain patterns that exist in addition to the roughness. Fractal dimension analysis can also be performed, which is the ability to calculate the complexity of a surface.

Industries that often perform surface roughness measurement include automotive, to determine the lead-tightness of crankshaft seals, or cosmetic for wrinkle measurement.

Surface Profile Measurement

Surface profile measurements are often used for microlenses and precision tooling, as the Chromatic Confocal technique has a wide height range of up to 25 mm and is capable of measuring steep angles. Dimensions can be measured in seconds with a single profile as no stitching is required for large surfaces.

Nanovea profilometers used for surface profile measurement can be used as an advanced quality control tool as they can perform pattern recognition and automation, in addition to pass-fail conditions and database communication.

These profilometers can be used to measure maximum, minimum, and mean heights, in addition to distance, width, slope, radius, and center point. Nanovea surface profile measurement profilometers meet the ISO 5436-1 standard.

Surface Topography Measurement

The Chromatic Confocal technique used by Nanovea profilometers is ideal for surface topography measurement of shape and form on complex and unknown surfaces, including plants and rock, soft tissue, etc. The resulting data is the best polynomial match for the shape being measured.

Abbot-Firestone curve, waviness and lay parameters, skewness and kurtosis, and surface comparison or subtraction can all be analyzed with Nanovea profilometers. The standards ISO 25178, ISO 4287, ISO 13565-2, ISO 12085, ISO 12780, and ISO 12181 are all met with these instruments.

Surface Flatness Measurement

Profilometers from Nanovea can be used to accurately measure flatness, warpage, and planarity across large areas with a single 2D profile or 3D area. Applications where these instruments are often used include seals, glass, and microparts, where flatness is critical.

Profilometers used for surface flatness measurement meet the standards ISO 25178, ISO 4287, ISO 13565-2, ISO 12085, ISO 12780, and ISO 12181. Standard measurement analysis for surface flatness measurement includes best polynomial match and material and bearing ratios.

Surface Volume Measurement

The volume and area of a surface can be accurately measured using Nanovea profilometers with the Chromatic Confocal technique. Both textiles and highly corroded surfaces can be measured, in order to compare and evaluate the surface area.

The surface volume data generated with these profilometers is easily replicable from sample to sample, and from one instrument to another. The volume of void, hill, or valley can be measured, in addition to peak or pit, surface area, depths, and the highest peak. These measurements meet the standards of ISO 25178, ISO 4287, ISO 13565, ISO 12085, ISO 12780, and ISO 12181.

Surface Step Height Measurement

The Chromatic Confocal measurement technique is a non-destructive way of measuring step height with no influence on accuracy reflectivity or material change between substrate and coating. These profilometers can also measure the thickness of an optically transparent layer with a similar resolution and range, with a lower limit of about 7µm.

Point to point, plane to plane, maximum, minimum and mean heights, thickness maps, and thickness distribution curves can all be analyzed for surface step height measurement.

Profilometers from Nanovea

Nanovea supply a range of standard profilometer models for a variety of applications. Custom built profilometers can also be produced to fit specific requirements. If you would like any more information about our range of profilometers and selecting the right one for your application, please contact us.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Nanovea.

For more information on this source, please visit Nanovea.

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