At present there is no 3D parameter standard. It is too early in the development cycle. Research is still needed to explore the possibilities and provide recommendations. A research programme undertaken by Birmingham University has led to a proposal for some 3D parameters and that they should have the parameter designation'S' for 'surface' (Stout et al, 1993 and 2000). The proposal was for the recognition of a primary set of 14 3D parameters. They are mostly 3D versions of 2D parameters, e.g. Rq to Sq. However, proposals were made concerning areal bearing area parameters which seem particularly useful.
Research continues at various establishments and two EU funded research programmes are of note that were reported in 2001. One was concerned with 3D parameter specification in general (called Surfstand) and the other was concerned with the 3D assessment of automotive body panels (called Autosurf). These two reports recommend that a series of 3D parameters should be defined in two Technical Reports that will be published in 2002 as consultation documents. Since these 3D parameters are at present more appropriate to the laboratory than the factory, they will not be discussed any further here.
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