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Roughness is something that we calculate from the texture of the specimen and the entire thing
in this world have the roughness but in different value of roughness. The surface for specimen
are not always been smooth even the mirror have the roughness. The roughness can be
quantified by the deviation, more high the deviation more roughs the surface.

Roughness also is important in determining the surface of specimen reaction with the
environment. The specimen that has more interaction with the environment has more roughness
surface than the smooth surface that has a low reaction with the environment.


To measure the value of the roughness surface of a specimen using the Computerized
Roughness Measure Machine by using the method of CENTER LINE AVERANGE (CLA) or

a) Specimen : piston cylinder

b) A computerized surface roughness machine

c) Digital Planimeter

d) Ruler

A surface never be smooth even the mirror, and still have the two components that is roughness
and waviness. ISO and CLA is the method that use in measure the surface finish. During
experiment several sampling of length can be taken and the average result will give the actual
value of the surface component.


∑A = surface of area above and below the center

L = sample length (graph)
Mv = Vertical Magnification
Waviness height:

This refers to the irregularities which are outside the roughness width cut off values.
Waviness is the widely spaced component of the surface texture. This may be the result
of work piece or tool deflection during machining, vibrations or tool run out. Waviness is
the measure of the more widely spaced component of surface texture. It is a broader view of
roughness because it is more strictly defined as "the irregularities whose spacing is greater than
the roughness sampling length". It can occur from machine or work deflections, chatter, residual
stress, vibrations, or heat treatment

Roughness Width:

The roughness width is the distance parallel to the nominal surface between successive
peaks or ridges which constitute the predominate pattern of the roughness. It is
measured in millimeters.

Roughness Height:

It is the height of the irregularities with respect to a reference line. It is measured in

millimeters or microns or microfiches. It is also known as the height of unevenness

Waviness Width:

Waviness height is the peak to valley distance of the surface profile, measured in
Roughness Width Cut Off:

Roughness width cut off is the greatest spacing of respective surface irregularities to be
included in the measurement of the average roughness height. It should always be
greater than the roughness width in order to obtain the total roughness height rating


Procedure on machining process

1. A cut off wavelength of 0.8mm by 8 sections was selected on the machine. The machine
was set to a vertical magnification to AUTO and horizontal magnification to 100.

2. The component on the auto leveling table was placed at a suitable position such that
when pick up head is lowered, its stylus contacts the surface of the specimen.

3. The machine was set; ready to record the measurement.

4. The roughness profile graph for the specimen was obtained.

Procedure on manual process

1. Each group had to select three peaks on the graph.

2. Two vertical lines were drawn for the three peaks.

3. The value of ‘L’ within the three peaks was found in (cm).

4. A centerline (CLA) was drawn somewhere in the middle.

5. The starting point and turning point were pointed on the graph.

6. The areas above and below the CLA was measured using the digital planimeter.

7. Three different reading were measured by three different persons in the group and the
average of the reading was calculated.
8. The value of the CLA was calculated.

9. The manual result was compared with the computerized result for CLA.


a) The value of the roughness of a specimen by the Roughness Average (Ra) method by
using a computerized Roughness Measuring Machine is 3.40 µm.

b) For the manual calculation, we calculate the Center Line Average (CLA) from the
reading of the Digital Planimeter.

Name Area above the line (m2) Area below the line (m2) Sum of the area above
and below the line (m2)
Arif 0.00017 0.00085 0.00102
Amir 0.00017 0.00086 0.00103
Hazril 0.00017 0.00089 0.00106


CLA = ∑A / (L x Mv)

∑A = Sum of area above and below the center line

L = Sample length (graph)

Mv = Vertical Magnification

L = 11 cm

Mv = 2000
∑A = (0.00102+0.00103+0.00106)/3

= 1.04 x 10-3 m2

CLA = ∑A / (L x Mv)

= 1.04 x 10-3 / (11x 10-2 x 2000)

= 4.73 µm

Percentage error (%) = theoretical – experimental x 100%


= (3.40 µ - 4.73 µ) x 100%

3.40 µ

= 39.1 %


• Comment on any variation in results for the measured profile.

The first variations is because hand of the student is shaking while measure the
profile. Students also do not follow the line accurately. Lack of concentration also
one of the reason why the variation occur.

• What are the possible errors involved?

Normally, there have a systematic error, accidental error, and Analysis error.
Systematic errors not really happen during this experiment because the
experiment is conducted by the professional person. So, there is no mistake in
side of the techniques on conducting the machine and handling the equipment.
The condition of surrounding also does not any problem. For the accidental error,
they may be due to the estimation of values on the instruments, type of the
human errors, and errors on calculating the result. In this experiment, the errors
have happened during the manual process when the above and below graph are
measured by using the Digital Planimeter Placom KP-90. The student must
follow the line of graph slowly by using it from initial point until the end point. The
reading taken is not an accurate because there have a vibration during holding
the digital planimeter. There is also happen a parallax error in side of looking the
line of graph. We can normally overcome this type of errors by repeating the
measurement and averaging out the result. The analysis error is necessary for
measurement such as to analyze the result from the experiment.

• What are the necessary precautions?

First of all make sure that the point on the lens pointed on the line at the graph.
To have an accurate area, measured the line slowly and carefully because any
movement will cause changes in the resulting surface area. Therefore, three best
students in our group are selected to handle the device so that we will have
accurate surface area. Besides, when measuring the area from starting point to
end point, make sure that it returned back to the starting point. Next person to
evaluate the area must reset back the value on the planimeter.
Next, is the ruler, which is one of the instruments in this experiment. We need to
read the scale carefully to prevent from having parallax error. Ruler is used to
measure the length of the selected peaks on the graph.


From the experiment we can conclude that the surface roughness is varies depends
on the type of specimen we used, the position of measurement taken and parallax
error occurred during experiment. Besides that, we can also conclude that the
smaller the stylus diameter and the smoother the surface, the closer the path of the
stylus to the actual surface profile.


1. Metrology and Quality Control, 2006, A.M. Badadhe, Technical Publications.

2. Handbook of surface metrology, 1994, J. Whitehouse, David, CRC Press.
3. Manufacturing Technology, 2007, M. Adithan, A.B. Gupta, New Age International
(P) Limited, Publishers.