Based on more than a decade's work with digital surface roughness analysis techniques, this paper describes the advantages as well as the range of application of three-dimensional surface roughness analysis. Conventional as well as optical equipment is used for surface mapping, and a number of specially developed software packages perform the data processing, including three-dimensional surface filtering and computation of three-dimensional parameters to describe selected functional aspects of surface topography. Several cases of industrial applications are referred, ranging from seal leakage to die wear and human skin diseases. © 1994 CIRP.
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