Tag Archives: surface measurements

Structural Steel FAQ, Part 5 – Assessing Surface Profile

Besides the degree of cleanliness – the removal of oil and grease, rust and mill scale, dust, and other contaminants – surface preparation specifications must also consider the surface profile and roughness relative to the coating to be applied.  Rosler Metal Finishing builds shot blasting equipment to create the right surface profile on structural steel components as well as cleaning them in preparation for coating and painting.

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Painted steel exiting a preservation line

This installment of our Structural Steel FAQ series will answer What is the optimum the surface profile for a structural steel component prior to painting and how is profile evaluated?

Optimizing for Painting

Shot blasting makes a surface rougher to increase the total contact area between paint and a work piece substrate and generally improves paint adhesion. A surface that is too smooth poses the risk of inadequate paint adhesion, while a surface that is too rough may not cover the peaks. The degree of surface profile required depends entirely on the coating to be applied.

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How Big Is 1μm?

When designers and manufacturing companies specify surface finishes more often than not we’re talking in micrometres (µm), but what exactly is a µm?

1 µm is 0.001mm or one thousandth of one millimetre.  In other words it is a very fine measurement and as such it can be hard to comprehend.  So the best way to understand it for many of us is to compare it to everyday things we’d know, such as a cigarette paper, human hair, paperclip wire or needle.

This image from our partners Haas illustrates how these items measure up and what a µm equates to in comparison.   For more details on their range of machining centres please visit their website at: http://www.haas-schleifmaschinen.de/en/

In comparison to microinches (written as µin or µ”) 1 µm = approximately 40 µ”.  1 µ” being equal to one millionth of an inch (0.000001”).  (So a 15µm surface finish = 600µ” and a 320µ” surface finish = 8µm as examples of conversions).

To understand more about surface reading types and how they are calculated, please see our post on A Guide to Understanding Surface Roughness Measurement Types

 

Post written by
Stephen Lewis-Brammer
General Manager

 

 

 

 

Shotblasting – Surface Measurement Terms

Shotblasting of steel plate, profiles, construction, and fabrications is a process to clean, descale, provide a specified surface profile and edge break as a surface preparation.   This process takes place prior to a coating or paint application to maximise the adherence potential and corrosion control.

This is a document made up of five parts  on  “How Do You Make Your Coatings Stick Better?”

Section 1 – Specified Consistency
Section 3 – How to Measure
Section 4 – Cleanliness and Surface Profile
Section 5 – Recognising Steel Processes (for hardness of steel)

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A Guide to Understanding Surface Roughness Measurement Types

Often engineering drawings call for a range of surface roughness.  Traditionally this is a roughness value expressed in Ra although other measurement types such as Rz are becoming more common.  But what do they mean?

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