Journal of Materials Science

, Volume 26, Issue 18, pp 4971–4976 | Cite as

Application of scanning tunnelling microscopy to the quality control of tungsten carbide (WC-Co) ball bearings

  • N. M. D. Brown
  • G. M. Taggart
  • Hong-Xing You


Scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) has been applied to the topographical study of tungsten carbide (with ∼6% Co) ball bearings in air. It is shown that, for this material, scanning tunnelling microscopy can provide not only general topographical information on the surface microtexture with a resolution of nearly 0.1 nm if required, but also quantitative information for the measurement of surface roughness. Thus, scanning tunnelling microscopy has utility as a quality control tool of particular relevance in the submicron range. The STM topographical results from specific tungsten carbide ball bearings are presented, and the limitations and applicability of the STM technique when used as a quality control tool are discussed.


Polymer Microscopy Carbide Surface Roughness Quality Control 
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Copyright information

© Chapman & Hall 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • N. M. D. Brown
    • 1
  • G. M. Taggart
    • 1
  • Hong-Xing You
    • 1
  1. 1.Surface Science Laboratory, Department of Applied Physical SciencesUniversity of UlsterColeraineIreland

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