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Surface Texture Measurements

NPL provides a complete solution for all surface texture

measurement requirements, including calibration of surface
texture artefacts, and surface characterisation using both contact
and non-contact measurement techniques.
The range of bespoke primary surface texture measuring
instruments enable the measurement and understanding of
surface texture and provide valuable functional information
about a surface.
The continuous research work in this area carried out by
NPL together with our involvement in the development
and evolution of ISO Standards in the field of surface
texture metrology underpins our reputation as an
authoritative source of advice and knowledge.
NPL offers a very high level of expertise
and high quality services.
Surface texture metrology
services available at NPL
We calibrate and provide surface texture
calibration artefacts compliant to:
ISO 5436-1:2000 Geometrical product
These services are complemented by a range
specification (GPS) – Surface texture: Profile
of good practice guides on surface texture
method; Measurement standards – Part 1:
measurements, that are available free of charge
Material measures and
from the NPL website (www.npl.co.uk/guides)
ISO 5436-2:2001 Geometrical product
specification (GPS) – Surface texture: Profile
method; Measurement standards – Part 2: – The measurement of surface texture using
Software measurement standards. stylus instruments (GPG No. 37)
The calibration artefacts and software measuring – The measurement of smooth surface
standards specified in these documents are topography using coherence scanning
designed to calibrate and/or check different interferometry (GPG No. 108)
characteristics of stylus profile measuring
instruments such as vertical and lateral scales, Benefits
tip condition, software validity, etc. Some examples where surface texture is useful:-
Surface analysis Surface structures that encourage the binding
of biological protein, cell or enzyme molecules
We also provide three-dimensional or areal
can be measured and understood allowing for
surface texture measurements on a variety
surface reproduction
of industrial components such as optical
components (eg. lenses), machined parts Improvement of arrays for displays and photo-
(e.g. cylinders liners), industrial coatings (e.g. voltaics are obtained by measurement and
machine tools), wafers for microelectronics and understanding of the optimum micro-lens
MEMS, etc. surface structures
We have available a wide range of Measurement of nanostructured surfaces allows
instrumentation using both contact and non- improvements of the plasmonic interaction
contact methods that provide three-dimensional in anti-reflection coatings, colour control and
maps of the surface and three-dimensional waves guides
surface parameters. These in turn are used
Flow control can be enhanced in microfluidic
to analyse the surface qualitatively and
channels by understanding the surface
characterisation in lab-on-a-chip and biological
filtering units
NPL provides consultancy services on all The measurement and understanding of
aspects of surface measurement including: deterministic patterning provides information
calibration, measurement uncertainties, best to allow improvements in tribological
measurement practice, training and parameter characteristics such as friction, rheology
interpretation. and wear.

Contact details Further information

National Physical Laboratory Please phone: 020 8943 8631 or
Hampton Road E-mail: dimensional_enquiries@npl.co.uk
United Kingdom
TW11 0LW

NPL helpline: 020 8943 6880

NPL helpline fax: 020 8614 0446

E-mail: enquiry@npl.co.uk
Website: www.npl.co.uk

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