Relevant Standards..
BS 1134-1:1988 Title: Assessment of surface texture. Methods and instrumentation

BS EN ISO 3274:1998 Geometric product specifications (GPS). Surface texture. Profile method. Nominal characteristics of contact (stylus) instruments

BS EN ISO 4287:2000 Geometrical product specification (GPS). Surface texture. Profile method. Terms, definitions and surface texture parameters

BS EN ISO 4288:1998 Geometrical product specifications - Surface texture: profile method - Rules and procedures for assessment of surface texture.

BS EN ISO 1302:2002
Geometrical product specifications (GPS). Indication of surface texture in technical product documentation

Surface Finish Notes
Surface Texture
The accurate characterization of surface texture has become increasingly important in the instrument, computing, data storage, automotive and biomedical industries.   Surface texture is a key consideration affecting the function and reliability engineering components.

The surface texture is the local deviations of a surface from its ideal shape e.g perfect flat shape, perfect cylindrical shape, spherical shape etc.    The measure of the surface texture is generally determined in terms of its roughness, waviness and Form .  

The roughness of a manufactured surface generally results from the production process and not specifically from the machining process if any.    The action of the cutting tool, chemical action, polishing, lapping, and the structure of the material all contribute to the roughness of the surface.

Waviness, the more widely spaced repetitive deviations, usually relate to the characteristics of an individual machine or to external environmental factors.   It may result from such factors as machine or work deflection, vibration, chatter, heat treatment, or warping strains. Because both process and machine induced irregularities occur simultaneously,roughness is superimposed over waviness.

The form of a surface is the profile of the surface under consideration ignoring variations due to roughness and waviness. Deviations from the desired form result from clamping marks or sliding marks machining guide errors etc.
Measuring Surface Finish
In the past surface texture has been assessed by the judgment of the inspector either by eye or even fingernail.    The evaluation was done by comparing the surface to be measured with standard surfaces

A modern typical surface measuring instrument will consist of a stylus with a small tip (diamond) a gauge or transducer, a traverse datum and a processor.   The surface is measured by moving the stylus across the surface.  As the stylus moves up and down along the surface, the transducer converts this movement into a signal which is then exported to a processor which converts this into a number and usually a visual profile.

The stylus must be moved in a straight line to give accurate readings   On an expensive fixed instrument the necessary guide is of some form of datum bar that is usually lapped or precision ground to a high straightness tolerance.   On the normal portable units the guide is generally based on a skid which slides over the general surface ensuring that the linked stylus moves in a straight line parallel to the local surface
Surface Texture Parameters
The identification of the surface texture used a number of parameters.  These are different depending on the standard used and on the issue of the relevant standard.    The notes below relate to the standards as listed above

R a - Average Roughness....
The average roughness is the area between the roughness profile and its mean line, or the integral of the absolute value of the roughness profile height over the evaluation length  Graphically, the average roughness is the area (shown below) between the roughness profile and its center line divided by the evaluation length (normally five sample lengths with each sample length equal to one evaluation length)   This is the parameter that has been used universally for many years   The European and ISO standards now more generally use R z:

R t(R y), R p, and R v ....
The peak roughness R< sub>p is the height of the highest peak in the roughness profile over the evaluation length    Similarly, Rv is the depth of the deepest valley in the roughness profile over the evaluation length .   The total roughness, R t(R y), is the sum of these two, or the vertical distance from the deepest valley to the highest peak.:

R z....
R z is the sum of the height of the highest peak plus the lowest valley depth within a sampling length ( lr ).    R z is gnerally used, in European documents, to indicated the roughness surface texture   Note: The default evaluation length "ln" consists of 5 sample lengths "lr."
Sample Filtering
Modern surface texture measuring instruments record the stylus movement over the evaluation length electronically and can produce output readings to a significant level of detail.   The instruments measure the roughness variations and the waviness variations .   Selecting a roughness filter will remove waviness elements, leaving the roughness profile for evaluation.  Selecting a waviness filter will remove roughness elements,leaving the waviness profile for evaluation.   The signal filters operate on the digital information.  Separating the roughness and waviness is achieved by using filter cut-offs.

lc = the long wave filter. In the roughness requirement this value is the sampling length.  This value may be used as the basis for the Waviness surface texture indication

ls = the short wave filter used for the lower band of the roughness requirement.