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Iso 25178

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Iso 25178

ISO 25178: Geometric Product Specifications (GPS) – Surface texture: areal is an 3D areal surface texture.

New features

It is the first international standard taking into account the specification and measurement of 3D surface texture. In particular, the standard defines 3D surface texture parameters and the associated specification operators. It also describes the applicable measurement technologies, calibration methods, together with the physical calibration standards and calibration software that are required.

A major new feature incorporated into the standard is coverage of non-contact measurement methods, already commonly used by industry, but up until now lacking a standard to support quality audits within the framework of ISO 9000. For the first time, the standard brings 3D surface metrology methods into the official domain, following 2D profilometric methods that have been subject to standards for over 30 years. The same thing applies to measurement technologies that are not restricted to contact measurement (with a diamond point stylus), but can also be optical, such as chromatic confocal gauges and interferometric microscopes.

Structure of the standard

Documents constituting the standard :

  • Part 1: surface texture indications
  • Part 2: terms, definitions and surface texture parameters
  • Part 3: specification operators
  • Part 6: classification of methods for measuring surface texture
  • Part 601: nominal characteristics of contact (stylus) instruments
  • Part 602: nominal characteristics of non-contact (confocal chromatic probe) instruments
  • Part 603: nominal characteristics of non-contact (wavefront interferometric microscope) instruments
  • Part 604: nominal characteristics of non-contact (coherence scanning interferometry ) instruments
  • Part 605: nominal characteristics of non-contact (point autofocus profiling ) instruments
  • Part 606: nominal characteristics of non-contact (focus variation) instruments
  • Part 701: calibration and measurement standards for contact (stylus) instruments

Other documents are in draft or being drafted and will be published in the next few years. A number of documents that are in draft concern, in particular, other optical measurement technologies (3D confocal microscope, white light interferometric microscope, digital holographic microscope).

New definitions

The ISO 25178 standard is considered by TC213 as first and foremost providing a redefinition of the foundations of surface texture, based upon the principle that nature is intrinsically 3D. It is anticipated that future work will extend these new concepts into the domain of 2D profilometric surface texture analysis, requiring a total revision of all current surface texture standards (ISO 4287, ISO 4288, ISO 1302, ISO 11562, ISO 12085, ISO 13565, etc.)

A new vocabulary is imposed:

  • S filter: filter eliminating the smallest scale elements from the surface (or of the shortest wavelength for a linear filter)
  • L filter: filter eliminating the largest scale elements from the surface (or of the longest wavelength for a linear filter)
  • F operator: operator suppressing nominal form.
  • Primary surface: surface obtained after S filtering.
  • S-F surface: surface obtained after applying an F operator to the primary surface.
  • S-L surface: surface obtained after applying an L filter to the S-F surface.
  • Nesting index: index corresponding to the cut-off wavelength of a linear filter, or to the scale of the structuring element of a morphological filter. Under 25178, industry-specific taxonomies such as roughness vs waviness are replaced by the more general "nesting index".

The new authorized filters are described in the series of technical specifications included in ISO/TS 16610. These filters include: the Gaussian filter, the spline filter, robust filters, morphological filters, wavelet filters, cascading filters, etc.

3D areal surface texture parameters


3D parameters are written with the capital letter S (or V) followed by a suffix of one or two small letters. They are calculated on the entire surface and no more by averaging estimations calculated on a number of base lengths, as is the case for 2D parameters. In contrast with 2D naming conventions, the name of a 3D parameter does not reflect the filtering context. For example, Sa always appears regardless of the surface, whereas in 2D there is Pa, Ra or Wa depending on whether the profile is a primary, roughness or waviness profile.

Height parameters

These parameters involve only the statistical distribution of height values along the z axis.

Parameter Description
Sq Root mean square height of the surface
Ssk Skewness of height distribution
Sku Kurtosis of height distribution
Sp Maximum height of peaks
Sv Maximum height of valleys
Sz Maximum height of the surface
Sa Arithmetical mean height of the surface

Spatial parameters

These parameters involve the spatial periodicity of the data, specifically its direction.

Parameter Description
Sal Fastest decay auto-correlation rate
Str Texture aspect ratio of the surface
Std Texture direction of the surface

Hybrid parameters

These parameters relate to the spatial shape of the data.

Parameter Description
Sdq Root mean square gradient of the surface
Sdr Developed area ratio

Functions and related parameters

These parameters are calculated from the material ratio curve (Abbott-Firestone curve).

Parameter Description
Smr Surface bearing area ratio
Sdc Height of surface bearing area ratio
Sxp Peak extreme height
Vm Material volume at a given height
Vv Void volume at a given height
Vmp Material volume of peaks
Vmc Material volume of the core
Vvc Void volume of the core
Vvv Void volume of the valleys

Parameters related to segmentation

These parameters are derived from a segmentation of the surface into motifs (dales and hills). Segmentation is carried out using the watersheds method.

Parameter Description
Spd Density of peaks
Spc Arithmetic mean peak curvature
S10z 10 point height
S5p 5 point peak height
S5v 5 point valley height
Sda Closed dales area
Sha Closed hills area
Sdv Closed dales volume
Shv Closed hills volume

3D surface texture measurement software

At the moment a consortium of several company are working on a free implementation of the above parameters. This is called OpenGPS [1].

3D surface texture measurement instruments

Part 6 of the standard divides the usable technologies into three families:

  1. Topographical instruments: contact and non-contact 3D profilometers, interferometric and confocal microscopes, structured light projectors, stereoscopic microscopes, etc.
  2. Profilometric instruments: contact and non-contact 2D profilometers, line triangulation lasers, etc.
  3. Instruments functioning by integration: pneumatic measurement, capacitive, by optical diffusion, etc.

and defines each of these technologies.

Next, the standard explores a number of these technologies in detail and dedicates two documents to each of them:

  • Part 6xx: nominal characteristics of the instrument
  • Part 7xx: calibration of the instrument

Contact profilometer

Parts 601 and 701 describe the contact profilometer, using a diamond point to measure the surface with the assistance of a lateral scanning device.

Chromatic confocal gauge

Part 602 describes this type of non-contact profilometer, incorporating a single point white light chromatic confocal sensor. The operating principle is based upon the chromatic dispersion of the white light source along the optical axis, via a confocal device, and the detection of the wavelength that is focused on the surface by a spectrometer.

Focus variation

Part 606 describes this type of non-contact areal based method. The operating principle is based on a microscope optics with limited depth of field and a CCD camera. By scanning in vertical direction several images with different focus are gathered. This data is then used to calculate a surface data set for roughness measurement.

See also


  • ISO 25178 on the ISO Web site
  • , François Blateyron, Quality Magazine White PaperNew 3D parameters and filtration techniques for surface metrology
  • ISO/TS 16610-1 : Geometric Product Specifications (GPS): Filtration – Part 1: Overview and basic concepts
  • ISO/TS 14406 : Geometric Product Specifications (GPS): Extraction
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