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For many years, the basic handheld micrometer has advanced to feature vast varieties of point configuration and digital electronics. In the manufacturing space, the micrometer still stands as one of the most versatile and popular precision measuring tools. This is because, it provides direct size information, delivers high resolution, and it adapts so easily to a variety of measurement applications. As a result, this guide has deemed it to present everything you need to know about the micrometer screw gauge.
A micrometer screw gauge – also known as a micrometer is a precision measuring instrument that features a calibrated screw that is primarily used to measure small thickness or distance between two faces of the machining and mechanical engineering parts. Micrometer screw gauge is often used alongside other metrological devices such as Vernier, dial, and digital calipers. It is also used as a tool for measuring the apparent diameter of a microscopic object or celestial body in microscopes or telescopes.
Since the inception of micrometer screw gauge about 150 years ago, numerous variation of alternate contact point configurations has been developed. This is done to satisfy an endless number of measurement applications in vast varieties of fields. Consequently, these varieties of options for micrometers have made it a universal length-measuring hand tool in the manufacturing industry.
There are vast varieties of micrometers they include and are not limited to the following:
The micrometer screw gauge has a wide application in almost all fields of science such as in engineering, manufacturing, and in different scientific experiments. It is used to measure the value of vast varieties of objects up to higher precision and accuracy. So, for better understanding and to ensure proper use of micrometer screw gauges, it is imperative to know the function of its basic parts. Here are the parts and function of a micrometer screw gauge:
This part of a micrometer is a c-shaped frame which is a rigid part that features holding points for an object to be measured. The size of the u-shape frame depends on the range of measurement and it increases as the range of measurement expands to bigger sizes. The main function of the U-shape frame is to provide a basic structure of a micrometer on which the stationary anvil at one end and movable spindle slide outward or inward through the other end of the U-frame.
This is a screw located back end of the anvil which is used to adjust or correct the zero error of the micrometer. This helps to cancel a zero error if found before the measurement during the test.
Anvil is a small stationary cylindrical part that is located far end of the c-frame which acts as a holding point for measuring samples or objects. Most users refer to it as one of the rigid measuring and holding points of a micrometer screw gauge.
This is a cylindrical part of the micrometer mounted through all other parts such as the lock nut, sleeve, and thimble. It is moveable with a connection with the ratchet. As the ratchet is rotated either clockwise or anti-clockwise, the spindle slides inward or outward to adjust it with comparison to the measurement of the sample size.
The spindle and the anvil have a face and are located opposite each other. They are the measuring points of micrometer and constructed in such a way to hold the measuring ample or object collectively for measurement.
The mechanism of the micrometer screw gauge is based on precision ground threads of the spindle. As a result, the lock nut is fashioned to work as a stationary nut for this mechanism. The rotation of this mechanism into the lock nut on the micrometer controls the movement of the spindle.
The main function of the sleeve is for the indication of reading in millimeters (mm) in the case of an imperial micrometer. The sleeve on the micrometer is a barrel-type cylindrical component that is mounted on the spindle. The main scale of the micrometer screw gauge is engraved on the sleeve.
The thimble is a component of a micrometer and it is mounted on the spindle. A scale is engraved on the thimble to show the measurement value of the sample or object to be measured in fraction.
The ratchet is a knurled thumb grip component used to rotate the spindle into the desired direction during the measuring process provided with ratchet action. The ratchet action is done to avoid over-tightening of a micrometer across the sample or object of measurement. Also, it helps to ensure equal pressure force of every measurement.
The micrometer is perceived generally to be an excellent precision measurement tool. As it is for vast varieties of tools, the micrometer screw gauge comes with impressive advantages. The advantages include and are not limited to the following:
The micrometer screw gauge working principle is based on the conversion of small distances into larger ones by measuring the rotation of the screw. This is done by using the “screw principle” to facilitate the reading of smaller distances on a scale after amplifying them.
To simplify the working principle further, let’s examine a typical screw with threads, and insert the screw by twisting its head. While inserting the screw, the thread of the screw rotates a specific number of times. Each rotation of the screw can be correlated to an equivalent axial movement which is referred to as the pitch or lead of the screw.
If all the threads of such a screw are constructed with a known constant pitch, then the amount of axial movement that can be generated can be traced easily on a scale. Consequently, the micrometer screw gauge uses the principle highlighted above to measure the dimension of samples and parts.
A micrometer screw gauge is made up of a “U” shaped metallic structure that is attached to a hollow cylindrical tube on one end of the tool. Inside the hollow tube is the uniformly threaded nut. Into this nut, a long stud with a plane face is fitted. Also, on the other end of the “U” shaped frame, at the exact opposite side of this nut, a smaller stud with the plane face is attached. The faces of the two studs are situated exactly parallel to each other.
The “U” shaped metallic structure is referred to as the frame of a micrometer screw gauge. While the smaller stud is referred to as an anvil, the longer stud is referred to as the spindle. The spindle moves as and when the head is moved whereas the anvil is the fixed part. The object is meant to be measured in place between the anvil and the spindle. The frame carries both the barrel and the anvil. The barrel or sleeve is a part that connects the frame to the non-movable cylindrical tube of the micrometer screw gauge with a scale inscribed over it. This scale is referred to as the main scale of the device.
The heart of the micrometer screw gauge is the screw that is located inside of the barrel. The screw helps to convert small dimensions of samples into measurable distances using the scale. The device also carries the head or thimble which is the end of the cylindrical tube that can be turned to move and adjust the spindle. The thimble is the part on which the secondary scale is displayed.
At the end of the tube is the ratchet which is a limiting device that applies pressure by slipping at a predetermined torque. As a result, it prevents the spindle from moving further. While there are vast varieties of micrometers for specific applications, some consist of locking devices. This locking device holds the scale at a specific measurement to prevent any kind of error while taking measurements.
Hence the main parts of a micrometer screw gauge as explained earlier include the following:
The steps highlighted below are to be followed to ensure a proper use of a micrometer. The steps include the following:
For a machinist, manufacturer, engine professional, or many more, a precise and accurate measurement, are a must for their everyday activities. When it comes to the measurement of spherical and cylindrical samples, an outside micrometer is the ideal measuring device to be used. However, a well-calibrated micrometer may seem difficult to read, but with patience and constant practice, measurement with this device can become a part of your skillset. Below are the steps involved in reading a micrometer screw gauge:
Micrometer screw gauge features two scales including a rotating scale found on its rotating cylindrical component. It is also referred to as circular or secondary scale while the other scale found on its stationary sleeve is called the main scale or sleeve scale.
Generally, the least count is 0.5 mm on the main scale while the circular scale is divided into 50 or 100 equal parts.
The least count is the minimum length that can be measured using the veneer calipers.
The micrometer screw gauge features a spindle and anvil which are fashioned to touch each other so that the zero on the main scale should match the zero on the circular scale. However, if the zero on both scales fails to coincide then the micrometer screw gauge is said to exhibit zero error. This zero error of micrometer may be attributed to wear and tear or manufacturing defects. Generally, there are two types of zero errors, they include:
To identify the positive error, the zero mark of the circular scale lies below the zero marks of the main scale. Obtaining the positive error requires taking note of the division on the circular scale reading (C.S.R) that coincides with the line of the main scale. Due to this, the positive error is then equal to the product of the least count of the micrometer screw gauge and the number of divisions on the circular scale matching with the main scale line. To avoid errors in the reading, this error is subtracted from the overall reading.
To identify the negative, the zero mark of the circular scale lies above the zero marks of the main scale. Obtaining the negative error requires taking note of the division on the circular scale (C.S.R) that coincides with the line of the main scale. Due to this, the negative error is then equal to the product of the least count of the micrometer screw gauge and the number of divisions on the circular scale matching with the main scale line. To avoid errors in the reading, this error is added to the overall reading.
Since you have been able to understand the phenomenon explained above, then proceed to the reading. The following are the steps involved:
For over 150 years, the micrometer has evolved to keep with the demand of tight tolerances and high-speed production at the point of production in the manufacturing industry.
It has been a useful device in precise measurement with great potentials in vast varieties of applications. The micrometer screw gauge is highly durable and is cost-effective and its measurement is reliable. Consider its usage for more precise measurement today either in CNC machining, mechanical engineering, and many more.
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