There are a few elements that may be part of many projects involving metal and steel products, and measuring is one of these in many cases. You need to be able to measure dimensions with full accuracy for any kind of project here, and one of the tools that’s often most useful for those in this position is the micrometer.
At Wasatch Steel, we’re happy to provide clients with a wide range of steel products and steel services, ensuring they’re fully prepared for any metal project they have a need for. What is a micrometer, and how can it be properly used for any kinds of measurements or dimensional needs within your metal project? Here’s a basic primer.
For those just learning about it for the first time, a micrometer is a type of measuring device that’s used for both flat surfaces and certain other geometric shapes. It’s made up of a sleeve, a thimble, a Vernier scale and two surfaces, which are known as the anvil and spindle. They measure dimensions by using the principle of a screw, which is why micrometers are also known as screw gauges.
Micrometers are meant to measure finite distances, and are broken down into various sizes based on the specific measuring needs of the user. The smallest micrometers have a measurement range of just 0-25mm, while the largest have a range of 0-300mm.
They’re mainly used in engineering and manufacturing, but anyone with a need to get accurate measurements of small objects or tight spaces can find them useful.
Generally speaking, there are three types of micrometer used today:
How do you go about using a micrometer? This will vary slightly between the types of micrometer you’re using, which we discussed above, so our basic steps below will be specific to outside micrometers (likely the most common type used today).
Here’s how to go about using the micrometer:
Here are the options available for how to read a micrometer scale:
If you have the funds available, digital scale systems are generally highly preferred today. They involve much less operator error and are simply more accurate overall. However, if you’re working with a limited budget, the traditional scale system can still get the job done (albeit with a bit more care and effort).
There’s no doubt that micrometers are excellent tools that can be used in a variety of different situations where precision measurements are required. They allow for much greater accuracy than ruler alone, and they’re not terribly difficult to use once you understand the basics. Use the tips above next time you need to take measurements with a micrometer and you’ll be sure to get great results.
For more on this, or to learn about any of our steel or metal services, speak to the team at Wasatch Steel today.