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Small world: micro-artifacts

The measurement of micro-components is a new metrological challenge in modern production technology. For the assessment of the measuring systems used, PTB has developed micro-artifacts for which – depending on the measuring method – a calibration uncertainty of 0.5 μm has so far been achieved for distances and radii.

Micro-contour standard of stainless steel (detail). The standard is manufactured by wire-cut EDM and shows different radii, angles and distances. It is commercially available.
Micro-cube made of titanium with spherical calottes. The cube was produced by means of wire-cut and die-sinking EDM and has on three of its sides 5 x 5 spherical calottes of 0.4 mm in radius.

Miniaturization in technology leads to components with decreasing size such as e.g. micro-gears and micro-optical components with features smaller than 0.5 mm down to 1 μm. To measure microcomponents today, optical, tactile and x-ray-tomographic micro-sensors are used. Their verification should be carried out in accordance with accepted procedures of coordinate measuring technology (ISO 10360, VDI/VDE 2617). These procedures utilize artifacts.  Micro-artifacts with suitable dimensions have so far not been available.

PTB has therefore developed different micro-artifacts which have “cooperative” surfaces for tactile and optical probing or can be measured by x-ray computed tomography due to their volume properties (e.g. x-ray absorption). For the manufacture of these micro-artifacts, different manufacturing processes, such as wire-cut or die-sinking EDM or diamond turning were used. In some cases, the surfaces had to be subsequently structured, e.g. by laser processing, to achieve metrologically suitable surfaces.

Contact at PTB:

Phone: 0531-592-5212
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt
Bundesallee 100
38116 Braunschweig