Shown above are SWLI microscope photos that contrast various finishes

on a set or roller bearings.  Although the various methods have produced surfaces that render surface profile numbers that are not dissimilar when measured with a 2-D surface profilometer method, the actual surfaces when examined closely are actually quite different.  Notice the surface on the part marked CBF.  This is labeled as being an isotropic surface as the surface exhibits a random or non-linear type of abrasive track pattern.  The SEM photos correspond to the optical photos of the roller bearings shown below.  Isotropic surfaces have a large functional advantage over more conventionally produced machined, ground or even super finished surfaces.  The load bearing capability of this type of surface is substantially improved over nonisotropic conventionally produced surfaces.  The lack of machining/grinding grooves or notches also limits crack propagation in high stress and strain loading situations. (PHOTOS courtesy of Jack Clark, Surface Analytics and the Colorado State University Mechanical Enginering Deptartment

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Isotropic Micro-Finishing of Parts – Photos by Mark Riley, BV Products and Dave Davidson, SME Deburring/Finishing Tech Group

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