Institute for Materials Science II (IWK II)
Marcel Milich, Laboratory Engineer and Dr. Schneider
Tribology is one of the main focal points of scientific research at the Institute for Materials Science II. On the one hand, this research is comprised of the application-specific development of suitable tribo-materials for functionalisation of their surfaces by laser-assisted surface engineering methods. On the other hand, the research at IWK II focuses on developing models for characterizing the friction and wear behavior of material pairs.
* Characterization of tribo-materials under sliding, rolling and grooving loads from the nano/micro to the macro range.
* Development of special testing methods, among other things to characterize components for micro-engineering purposes and for high-resolution in-situ monitoring of the tribocontact.
* Analytical modeling to describe tribological behavior as a function of material, surface, load and environmental parameters.
* Development of strategies for transferring modelling results to system behaviour in practice.
The Keyence VHX-600 digital microscope is used in various research projects for quality and process control of laser-textured surfaces for tribological applications. The texture patterns applied by means of a laser beam are precisely visualized on the microscope's digital display. A wide variety of parameters, for example the diameter of textural elements and their spacing, the channel width or channel depth are measured with the aid of the digital microscope. "The VHX-600 microscope's 2D and 3D visualization works exceptionally well here", says Mr. Milich.
"The fast and simple operation and handling also support me in routine measuring tasks. I quickly arrive at the required result using the exact measuring function; image data transfer is equally as fast! A great degree of automation is achieved thanks to the motor and hand console. Because a large number of student assistants work in the IWK II laboratory, the VHX-600's simple handling and its numerous automatic image enhancement functions offer additional advantages. With the aid of these functions the students can quickly achieve useful results."
Thanks to its excellent resolution and visualisation the VK-9700 laser scanning microscope is also extremely interesting for Dr. Schneider and Mr. Milich from the material research department. "However, we also work with a VHX-100, one of the predecessor models!"
"It is installed directly on the test bench. Using this model we observe lubricant flow at the tribological contact". Mr. Milich attaches the objective below the test configuration. The microscope's light falls through a rotating sapphire disk. A steel ball with a surface structured using a laser beam is used as counter-body. Variously colored oils are applied to the tribo-contact. Now the way in which the oil is distributed on the laser-textured surface, how it flows, can be exactly observed using the digital microscope.
"In the future", says Mr. Milich, "the test bench may also be equipped with a Keyence VW-6000, a high-speed camera. Because the camera casing and the integrated lighting are similar to those of the VHX-100, the test bed could be converted in a matter of minutes and reveal details that remain hidden from the VHX-100 at several thousand images per second."