The Sixth International Symposium on

Measurement Technology and Intelligent Instruments

28 November - 1 December 2003
Academic Building, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Keynote Address

Liam Blunt
University of Huddersfield

Advances in Micro and Nano-Scale Surface Metrology
L. Blunt 1, X. Jiang 1 and P.J. Scott 2
1 University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield HD1 3DH, UK 2 Taylor Hobson Ltd, Leicester, UK


This report provides an overview of advances in surface metrology field, concerning surface creation, measurement need, instrumentation, characterisation methods and standard development. It indicates industry requirements and further developments for micro and nano scalar surface metrology. To begin this paper it might prove useful to take a step backwards and ask the rhetorical question why are we interested in surfaces? The clear reason is that it has been shown that the vast majority of all engineering component failures in practice are surface initiated, through mechanisms such as fatigue cracking, stress corrosion cracking, fretting wear, excessive abrasive or adhesive wear, corrosion, erosion, surface coating failure etc. Though often viewed as a second order effect this effect is increasingly impinging on component performance in a wide variety of disciplines. The field of engineering nanotechnology and MEMS manufacture in particular will become critically dependent on surface quality and functionality as a first order effect. Clearly then it is important to understand the properties of the surface and near surface zones of a component. These properties can be grouped together under the term surface integrity. The integrity of a surface is not measured as a single entity but is assessed through assessment of the surface metallurgy/chemistry and by means of surface metrology. As a means of quality control the metrology option is usually favoured, as it is non-destructive, and can in some instance be applied on line. This paper seeks to discuss some of the latest developments in the field of surface characterisation, how these have arrived in parallel with developments in instrumentation and finally how the developments will impact on international standards.

Brief Biography

Since 1990 Professor Blunt has worked in the areas of Surface Metrology and Precision Engineering. He originally completed his PhD research in ground surface integrity at Coventry University, UK. Following a spell at the University of Warwick working on microscopy of glass ceramic superconductors, Prof. Blunt moved the Centre for Metrology at the University of Birmingham UK. At Birmingham Prof. Blunt worked on the development of a multi property tester based on indentation and developed an active interest in surface metrology. In 1997 Prof. Blunt moved to the University of Huddersfield as a reader in Engineered Surfaces. He is currently the holder of the Taylor Hobson Chair of Surface Metrology at the Centre for Precision Technologies within Huddersfield University. Within the Centre his specific areas of research include surface metrology, the development of standards for 3D surface measurement, metrology and functionality of bio implants, device metrology and precision environment design. He has recently been successful in obtaining EC funding for the development of written ISO standards for 3D surface metrology. Additionally, Dr. Blunt is involved in projects involving the surface characterisation of rolled stainless steel and development of surface metrology “Softgauges”. Prof. Blunt has developed links with the numerous collaborating companies over many years and has been an invited speaker at CIRP meetings, at the Annual meeting of the American Society of Precision Engineers and the ISO. Prof. Blunt has produced over 100 publications.

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09 March 2010