Characterisation of the topography of metal additive surface features with different measurement technologies

Senin, Nicola, Thompson, Adam and Leach, Richard K. (2017) Characterisation of the topography of metal additive surface features with different measurement technologies. Measurement Science and Technology, 28 (9). 095003/1-095003/12. ISSN 1361-6501

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The challenges of measuring the surface topography of metallic surfaces produced by additive manufacturing are investigated. The differences between measurements made using various optical and non-optical technologies, including confocal and focus-variation microscopy, coherence scanning interferometry and x-ray computed tomography, are examined. As opposed to concentrating on differences which may arise through computing surface texture parameters from measured topography datasets, a comparative analysis is performed focussing on investigation of the quality of the topographic reconstruction of a series of surface features. The investigation is carried out by considering the typical surface features of a metal powder-bed fusion process: weld tracks, weld ripples, attached particles and surface recesses. Results show that no single measurement technology provides a completely reliable rendition of the topographic features that characterise the metal powder-bed fusion process. However, through analysis of measurement discrepancies, light can be shed on where instruments are more susceptible to error, and why differences between measurements occur. The results presented in this work increase the understanding of the behaviour and performance of areal topography measurement, and thus promote the development of improved surface characterisation pipelines.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an author-created, un-copyedited version of an article accepted for publication in Measurement Science and Technology. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions in this version of the manuscript or any version derived from it. The Version of Record is available online at
Keywords: Surface metrology; Three dimensional topographic features; Additive manufacturing; Metal powder-bed fusion
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2017 14:28
Last Modified: 04 May 2020 19:00

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