Pneumatic non-contact roughness assessment of moving surfaces
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All machined surfaces inherently have roughness. The level of control of this
surface is dependeat on the specifications outlined for its intended use. In strictly
controlled situatiom, the monitoring and characterization of these surfaces becomes
increasingly important to ensure that each component conforms to specifications. For this
reason, the need for in-situ monitoring systems has increased in order to optimize
manufacturing time and minimize generated scrap for companies to remain competitive
in industry. Current in-situ roughness monitoring systems, such as optical methods, are
limited by the harsl: environments in which these systems are required to operate and the
requirement for highly reflective materials. Accordingly, the need to develop a more
robust system is required. The objective of this work was to develop and test a noncontact
surface roughness characterization system which can be implemented into a machining center in order to provide in-situ measurements where currently available methods are rendered inappropriate. Through the use of a pneumatic technique, a non-contact surface assessment tool has been developed and tested for use in a machining center. The development began
offline for characterization of surfaces created by different machining operations and was
then introduced in to a turning center for in-situ evaluation. The developed system is
capable of distinguishing surfaces created from different machining operations with the
same Ra values, characterize milled and turned surfaces down to R^a values of 0.8 μm that
are comparable with stylus measurements, impervious to external influences on the measurement process such as cutting fluid, capable of characterizing moving surfaces with surface speeds up to 100 m/min, provides surface characterization around the entire
workpiece instead of along a single line, and can be operated in-process to monitor the
entire workpiece or be used to make spot checks for important surface features.
The developed system is capable of providing a method for in-situ monitoring of machined surfaces where currently available techniques fall short. The limitations caused by the harsh environment in which these in-situ monitoring devices operate and the limitations of workpiece materials have been eliminated and the developed system has been proven to provide results comparable to stylus measurements that are the industrial standard.
This work is the basis for the development of a non-contact, in-situ surface roughness assessment tool. Limitations of the current device are also presented. Further research and development avenues are identified to expand the operating envelope of the developed pneumatic system.
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