Polished surface of a stainless steel piece used for watch straps. In the watch and jewellery industry new types of noble metal alloys are desired for new colours. This means, new polishing methods and compositions are needed. The AFM helps to quantify the quality of the polishing method.
The image shows a mechanically polished stainless steel surface measured with AFM. The surface roughness is below 5 nm. A polishing defect is visible. Here a diamond grain from the polishing paste becomes embedded in the metal.
The AFM measurement was done in "Dynamic Force" operating mode.