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Fabrication and Study of Micro Monolithic Tungsten Ball Tips for Micro/Nano-CMM Probes

1
School of Instrument Science and Opto-Electric Engineering, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei 230009, China
2
School of Mechanical Engineering, Daliang University of Technology, Daliang 116024, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
This paper is an extended version of paper published in the 8th International Symposium on Precision Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation conference (ISPEMI, 8–11 August 2013), Chengdu, China.
Micromachines 2018, 9(3), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi9030133
Received: 2 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 13 March 2018 / Published: 19 March 2018
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Abstract

Micro ball tips with high precision, small diameter, and high stiffness stems are required to measure microstructures with high aspect ratio. Existing ball tips cannot meet such demands because of their weak qualities. This study used an arc-discharge melting method to fabricate a micro monolithic tungsten ball tip on a tungsten stylus. The principles of arc discharge and surface tension phenomenon were introduced. The experimental setup was designed and established. Appropriate process parameters, such as impulse voltage, electro discharge time, and discharge gap were determined. Experimental results showed that a ball tip of approximately 60 µm in diameter with less than 0.6 µm roundness error and 0.6 µm center offset could be realized on a 100 µm-diameter tungsten wire. The fabricated micro ball tip was installed on a homemade probe, touched by high-precision gauge blocks in different directions. A repeatability of 41 nm (K = 2) was obtained. Several interesting phenomena in the ball-forming process were also discussed. The proposed method could be used to fabricate a monolithic probe ball tip, which is necessary for measuring microstructures. View Full-Text
Keywords: monolithic tungsten stylus; microball tip; arc discharge; coordinate measuring machine (CMM) probe monolithic tungsten stylus; microball tip; arc discharge; coordinate measuring machine (CMM) probe
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Li, R.; Chen, C.; Fan, K.; Wang, Z.; Liu, F.; Huang, Q. Fabrication and Study of Micro Monolithic Tungsten Ball Tips for Micro/Nano-CMM Probes. Micromachines 2018, 9, 133.

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