Ultrasonic Measurements of Surface Roughness

  • G. V. Blessing
  • D. G. Eitzen
Conference paper


Ultrasonic reflectance/scattering measurements have been made on metal samples possessing a large range of surface roughness values. The root-mean-square roughnesses Rq ranged from 0.3 to nearly 40 μm on the mostly periodic surfaces. The echo amplitude from short incident pulses of ultrasound in the frequency range of 1 to 30 MHz was used, in the manner of a comparator, to measure relative roughnesses with an area-averaging approach defined by the ultrasonic beam spot size. Ultrasonic wavelengths ranged from about 50 to 300 μm at these frequencies, and the beam spot sized varied from 0.2 to 5 mm in diameter. Both air and fluid coupling techniques were used between the sensor (transducer) and surface, on both static and rapidly (in excess of 5 m/sec surface speed) moving parts. On static surfaces, a resolution of better than 1.0 μm Rq was achieved at the higher ultrasonic frequencies. By focusing the ultrasonic beam at 30 MHz, a profilometry capability was demonstrated on a 1 μm Rq sinusoidal specimen of 800 μm wavelength.


Ultrasonic Sensor Ultrasonic Frequency Ultrasonic Technique Ultrasonic Beam Amplitude Data 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • G. V. Blessing
    • 1
  • D. G. Eitzen
    • 1
  1. 1.National Institute of Standards and TechnologyGaithersburgUSA

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