The use of a complete surface profile description to investigate the cause and effect of surface features
Until recently, the assessment of a complete surface profile, in terms of both roughness and waviness characteristics, has been restricted by both instrumental and computational limitations. This has meant that previous descriptions of surface texture could not fully recognize the functional aspects of surface interactions. Similarly they were limited in identifying the machining conditions necessary to obtain the optimum surface characteristics for a specific functional application. This paper reviews a complete and unified surface profile characterization scheme developed by the authors. The approach identifies the random and periodic elements of the surface profile naturally, as opposed to the traditional techniques which attempt to relate roughness and waviness to assignable causes at an early stage of assessment. This leads to a more flexible and comprehensive characterization. To improve the understanding of the functional evolution of a surface, a study is presented which aims to establish the surface conditions necessary to obtaine a desired functional performance. These characteristics are then related to manufacture so that the ideal machining characteristics can be established. It is therefore shown that a greater understanding of the machined surface can be obtained in terms of causes and effects, in a way that links manufacture to function via the characterization scheme. ?? 1991.