Volume loss

Non-contact volume loss measurements

Volume loss describes the amount of material lost on a surface due to abrasion, erosion or other types of wear.

Novacam 3D metrology systems measure volume loss directly and with micron precision as follows:

  1. The worn region of the sample and the intact region around it are scanned.
  2. A reference plane is constructed for the intact surface.
  3. Novacam Volume Loss Application software calculates volume loss from the differences between the interpolated reference plane and the actual worn surface.

The surface measurements form a 3D image for easy visual analysis of the surface wear. Materials may be reflective or nonreflective, smooth or rough, stationary or moving. See more on what we can measure.

3D rendering of a surface (25 by 50 mm) worn away by abrasion

3D rendering of a surface (25 by 50 mm) worn away by abrasion

Advantages of measuring volume loss 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.

Dimensions of scanned objects

Novacam 3D metrology systems scan objects as small as few microns in width and there is no upper limit on object size.  See example below.

Measuring surface wear on a 1.2m-diameter metal drum

The surface of an electric commutator, in the shape of a rotating 1.2m-diameter metal cylinder, was acquired to determine how much its curved surface had been worn away by abrasion from metal brushes.

  • The damaged commutator was rotated on its horizontal axis (see green path on photo), while the front-looking non-contact optical probe was slid back and forth along the cylinder side (yellow path) to acquire the surface.

Optical probe scans (1.2m-diameter) motor commutator for surface wear and volume loss caused by abrasion

  • The acquired long profile data was programmatically “unwound” to produce a flattened image of the commutator surface, which shows wear from brush abrasion. The amount of material worn away was calculated.
Flattened surface of the 1.2m-diameter motor commutator (on the left), showing wear from brush abrasion

Flattened surface of the 1.2m-diameter motor commutator (on the left), showing wear from brush abrasion

Novacam Volume Loss Application

This application processes the acquired surface dimensional data to determine volume loss from abrasion and wear:

  • with micron precision
  • on samples and components of various shapes and sizes.

Novacam Volume Loss Application

Novacam Volume Loss Application: scan control user interface

 Novacam Volume Loss Application

Related links

Download application note “Volume Loss Measurement” [2 pages, PDF, 0.7 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