measurement of surface topography is now a key QC/QA requirement in an
increasingly broad range of industries, products and materials. This includes
measurements on finished products, research and development (R&D) into new
surfaces and surface treatments and in-process monitoring during volume production.
Materials include metals, composites, plastics, paper, painted and plated
surfaces, porous surfaces and glass. Drivers for these measurements range from
critical functional and performance impact, as in the case of a partially
processed semiconductor wafer surface, to expected lifetime, such as for hip
implant bearing surfaces, to aesthetic considerations, an example being orange
peel in automotive paint.