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Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM)Topographical Surface Characterization of Multilayer-Coated and Uncoated Carbide Inserts

Authors: Samy E. Oraby, Ayman M. Alaskari


In recent years, scanning probe atomic force microscopy SPM AFM has gained acceptance over a wide spectrum of research and science applications. Most fields focuses on physical, chemical, biological while less attention is devoted to manufacturing and machining aspects. The purpose of the current study is to assess the possible implementation of the SPM AFM features and its NanoScope software in general machining applications with special attention to the tribological aspects of cutting tool. The surface morphology of coated and uncoated as-received carbide inserts is examined, analyzed, and characterized through the determination of the appropriate scanning setting, the suitable data type imaging techniques and the most representative data analysis parameters using the MultiMode SPM AFM in contact mode. The NanoScope operating software is used to capture realtime three data types images: “Height", “Deflection" and “Friction". Three scan sizes are independently performed: 2, 6, and 12 μm with a 2.5 μm vertical range (Z). Offline mode analysis includes the determination of three functional topographical parameters: surface “Roughness", power spectral density “PSD" and “Section". The 12 μm scan size in association with “Height" imaging is found efficient to capture every tiny features and tribological aspects of the examined surface. Also, “Friction" analysis is found to produce a comprehensive explanation about the lateral characteristics of the scanned surface. Configuration of many surface defects and drawbacks has been precisely detected and analyzed.

Keywords: surface roughness, PSD, carbide inserts, surface defects, SPM AFM contact mode, scan size

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