High-precision non-contact roughness measurements

Novacam metrology systems deliver fast and reliable non-contact 3D surface measurements of surface roughness parameters. They offer:

  • Precision better than 1 µm
  • Ability to use the same system to measure 2D roughness (Ra, Rq, Rsk, Rku, Rv, etc.), 3D roughness, shape (GD&T parameters), flatness, waviness, and/or defects – depending on its configuration
  • High-speed scanning: acquisition of 2,100 to 100,000 of 3D points per second
  • Real-time feedback on manufacturing or coating processes: application data is typically forwarded to process control software
  • Easy visual inspection: 3D surface maps, height and intensity images, depth profiles, etc.

Plasma-coated cast metal strip: 3D surface map

Sample roughness measurement parameters of a fuel cell plate (height image on the right) are presented here below.

    Roughness values for fuel cell plateValue
    RaAverage roughness 0.01 mm
    RqRoot mean square roughness0.01 mm
    RskSkewness-0.05 mm
    RvMaximum profile valley depth-0.06 mm
    RpMaximum profile peak height0.09 mm
    RtMaximum height (distance from highest peak to lowest valley)0.16 mm
    Roughness measurements for a fuel cell plate (1 mm² sample)

Surfaces can be reflective or nonreflective, smooth or rough, stationary or moving. See more on what we can measure.

Fuel cell plate (1 mm² sample), surface depth expressed by colour

Advantages of measuring with fiber-based probes

Novacam metrology systems combine low-coherence interferometry (LCI) technology with fiber-based modular design, meaning that:

  • Measurements are done with fiber-based non-contact optical probes
  • The data acquired is sent over an optical fiber, up to a km long, to the signal-processing detector box (interferometer).

Advantages of Novacam’s design include:

See a more complete list of advantages of our fiber-based LCI systems.

Novacam fiber-based optical probes come in many designs and models – standard, small-diameter, rotational, or galvo-scanner – to satisfy the majority of high-precision inspection applications.

Cost-effective in-line inspection

The fiber-based probes described above enable the integration of inspection directly into production process. They can be mounted:

  • Above a continuously moving web
  • Adjacent to a rotating part (cylinder, shaft, etc.)
  • Inside a machining center
  • On robotic arms

With continuous monitoring and real-time feedback on a manufacturing or coating processes, roughness variations and out-of-spec characteristics are identified promptly,  helping avoid or minimize losses, while preserving quality and yields.

Probe multiplexing for additional ROI

Several fiber-based probes can be multiplexed to a single detector (low-coherence interferometer) for simultaneous measurements on different aspects of a production line.

Related links

Download application note “Surface Characterization and Roughness Measurement” [3 pages, PDF, 0.6 MB] for more details on this application

 Contact us or request free sample analysis to see if low-coherence interferometers are suitable for your application