What is surface texture?

Every surface has some form of texture that takes the form of a series of peaks and valleys. These peaks and valleys vary in height and spacing and have properties that are a result of the way the surface was produced. For example, surfaces produced by cutting tools tend to have uniform spacing with defined cutting directions whilst those produced by grinding have random spacing.

In surface texture there are many factors that, when combined, characterise a surface?s profile. For example:

  • the microstructure of the material
  • the action of the cutting tool
  • the instability of the cutting tool on the material
  • errors in the machine tool guideways
  • deformations due to stress patterns in the component