Tribology Applications

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Quantitative Volumetric Measurement & Analysis of
Macro-, Micro-, and Nano-Scale Surface Tribology Features

Tribology Measurement - Volume Removed
Volume removed during sliding using pin-on-disk tribometer

Tribology Measurement - Pitting, Volume Removed
Material lost due to corrosion pitting

Tribology Measurement - Pin-on-disk Coupon, Volume Removed
Volume removed/displaced during sliding pin-on-disk tribology testing
Tribology has been growing in importance as manufacturers gain a better appreciation of its impact on product performance and lifespan. Engineers involved in tribology applications can benefit greatly from a metrology tool that can measure and quantify how a surface is affected, on a microscopic level, by abrasion, adhesion, scuffing, galling, electro-arcing, fatigue, rolling contact, delamination, spalling, impact, fretting, corrosion, or a combination of these types of wear. The measurement data obtained can be critical to engineers optimizing the design of a component or assembly, a surface finishing process, coating formulation, or method of lubrication.

3D Optical Profilers, Ideal for Macro-,
Micro- & Nano-scale Tribology Applications

Zygo® 3D optical surface profilers are frequently selected for macro-, micro- and nano-scale tribology applications in material research, refinement of surface finishing techniques, and lubrication engineering. They can examine surface features with nanometer-scale precision and provide reliable quantitative 3D measurement data quickly and reliably.

Optical profilers are valuable tools for wear analysis, regardless of whether the wear is the result of actual use, or wear testing with a tribometer. Examples of tribology-related surface features that can be quantified with ZYGO optical profilers are: wear tracks, scratches, pitting, microstructural cracks, indentation, and material removed due to actions such as spalling and adhesion.

In selecting a metrology system, measurement cycle time is also a factor. It is essential to be able to obtain reliable tribology measurement data quickly and easily to keep pace with today's accelerated product development schedules. This is one of the driving factors in selecting ZYGO profilers.

For All Types of Surfaces, Ordinary to Exotic

Virtually all types of surfaces, over a wide range of reflectivities, can be measured by ZYGO optical profilers, including microbial biofilms, PTFE nanocomposite films, diamond-like films, silver tantalate coatings, as well as more conventional materials like metals, ceramics, and glass.

Our optical profilers are also very flexible in measuring various finishes and form. Surface finishes can be highly polished, pattern textured, or rough. And form is equally easy – measure cylindrical shaft parts, spherical balls (such as ball joints or ball bearings), flat or conical seals, and free-form surfaces, with high precision.

True 3D Quantitative Data, All at Once

3D surface data is obtained in one measurement, rather than slowly building up a 3D map from multiple 2D profiles, so precision data is obtained quickly, with excellent resolution and precision. A wide variety of data analysis calculations and types of measurement results are available in the easy-to-use MetroPro™ or Mx™ software packages, included with the ZYGO optical profilers.

ZYGO optical profilers have nanometer-level or better vertical resolution at all magnifications, so there is no trade-off between precision and field of view. Unlike conventional stylus profilers, measurements are non-contact, so there is NO damage or deformation to surfaces – a critical factor for metrology of wear surfaces.

ISO 25178 Compliant Measurement Data

Industrial tribology requires that measurement data are reported using standardized parameters. Results from ZYGO optical profilers are ISO compliant, and can include measurements of the following:
• Scratch/wear material volume removed
• Bearing ratio
• Lateral dimension
Form, waviness
• Roughness, including amplitude,
   spacing, and hybrid

Learn More About Surface Texture Parameters
with this FREE Handbook

To gain a better understanding of parameters used to quantify precision surfaces, we invite you to download our FREE handbook. It contains definitions of terminology and illustrated explanations of roughness, waviness, spacing, and hybrid parameters, including bearing ratio – more than 100 different parameters in all. Just click here or on the image at right, log on, and download.

Inquiry Form
Please use the form below to contact us with any questions you have regarding Tribology applications of ZYGO Optical Profiler systems, or surface profiling in general.

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