Shadow technique improves measurement of micro holes
Sometimes seeing a shadow can be as good or better than seeing the real thing. A new measurement method* developed by researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a case in point. The method uses the shadow cast by a small glass probe to infer the dimensions of tiny, microscale holes or other micrometer-sized components. The technique may provide an improved quality control method for measuring the interior dimensions of fuel nozzles, fiber optic connectors, biomedical stents, ink jet cartridges and other precision-engineered products.
Designed to be implemented with the type of coordinate measuring machine (CMM) routinely used in precision manufacturing settings, the method uses a flexible glass fiber with a microsphere attached on one end. The glass probe is attached to the CMMs positioning system, inserted into the part to be measured, and systematically touched to the parts interior walls in multiple locations. A light-emitting diode is used to illuminate the glass fiber. While the microsphere inside the part is not visible, the shadow of the attached fiber–with a bright band of light at its center–shows the amount of deflection in the probe each time the parts interior is touched. A camera records the shadow positions. Based on prior calibration of the force required to bend the probe a specific distance, the parts dimensions can be determined with an uncertainty of about 35 nanometers (nm). The method can be used for holes as small as 100 micrometers in diameter.
“Our probe has a much smaller measurement uncertainty than other available methods and it is very cost effective to make,” says Bala Muralikrishnan, a NIST guest researcher from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The thin, glass fiber is about 20 millimeters long and 50 micrometers in diameter, making it especially useful for measuring relatively deep holes not easily measured with other methods. Replacement probes cost about $100 compared to about $1,000 for those manufactured using silicon micromachining techniques.
All latest news from the category: Physics and Astronomy
This area deals with the fundamental laws and building blocks of nature and how they interact, the properties and the behavior of matter, and research into space and time and their structures.
innovations-report provides in-depth reports and articles on subjects such as astrophysics, laser technologies, nuclear, quantum, particle and solid-state physics, nanotechnologies, planetary research and findings (Mars, Venus) and developments related to the Hubble Telescope.
Young Corals Provide Insight into Recovery from Coral Bleaching
The number of young corals can reveal how reefs are recovering from coral bleaching. A new study from the University of Bremen, which was recently published in “PLOS ONE” journal,…
Defense or repair: How immune cells are controlled during wound healing
For the first time, scientists show a causal link between tissue repair, mitochondrial metabolism, and the activation and function of macrophages (scavenger cells) / Publication in ’Cell Metabolism’. A Cologne-based…
Transforming material topology with a drop of liquid
Liquid acts across multiple scales to reorganize connectivity in networks of artificial microscopic cells. The Science Networks of cells in nature have inspired researchers to develop their own materials made…