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DIAL/VERNIER CALIPER

A caliper (British spelling also calliper) is a device used to measure the distance between two opposing sides of an object. A caliper can be as simple as a compass with inward or outward-facing points. The tips of the caliper are adjusted to fit across the points to be measured, the caliper is then removed and the distance read by measuring between the tips with a measuring tool, such as a ruler. It is used in many fields such as metalworking, mechanical engineering, gunsmithing, handloading, woodworking, woodturning and in medicine.

Types
Inside caliper
Two inside calipers The inside calipers are used to measure the internal size of an object. The upper caliper in the image (at the right) requires manual adjustment prior to fitting, fine setting of this caliper type is performed by tapping the caliper legs lightly on a handy surface until they will almost pass over the object. A light push against the resistance of the central pivot screw then spreads the legs to the correct dimension and provides the required, consistent feel that ensures a repeatable measurement. The lower caliper in the image has an adjusting screw that permits it to be carefully adjusted without removal of the tool from the workpiece.

Outside caliper
Three outside calipers. Outside calipers are used to measure the external size of an object. The same observations and technique apply to this type of caliper, as for the above inside caliper. With some understanding of their limitations and usage these instruments can provide a high degree of accuracy and repeatability. They are especially useful when measuring over very large distances, consider if the calipers are used to measure a large diameter pipe. A vernier caliper does not have the depth capacity to straddle this large diameter while at the same time reach the outermost points of the pipe's diameter.

Divider caliper

A pair of dividers In the metalworking field divider calipers are used in the process of marking out suitable workpieces. The points are sharpened so that they act as scribers, one leg can then be placed in the dimple created by a center or prick punch and the other leg pivoted so that it scribes a line on the workpiece's surface, thus forming an arc or circle. A divider caliper is also used to measure a distance between two points on a map. The two caliper's ends are brought to the two points whose distance is being measured. The caliper's opening is then either measured on a separate ruler and then converted to the actual distance, or it is measured directly on a scale drawn on the map. On a nautical chart the distance is often measured on the latitude scale appearing on the sides of the map: one minute of arc of latitude is approximately one nautical mile or 1852 metres. Dividers are also used in the medical profession. They are used to measure electrocardiogram (ECG) lines. This instrument is called an ECG caliper or EKG caliper. These calipers have changed through the years, and there are even pocket calipers, invented 20 years ago by cardiologist Robert A. Mackin.

Oddleg caliper

Odd leg calipers Oddleg calipers, Hermaphrodite calipers or Oddleg jennys, or Ol' Jennys, as pictured on the left, are generally used to scribe a line a set distance from the edge of workpiece. The bent leg is used to run along the workpiece edge while the scriber makes its mark at a predetermined distance, this ensures a line parallel to the edge.

In the diagram at left, the uppermost caliper has a slight shoulder in the bent leg allowing it to sit on the edge more securely, the lower caliper lacks this feature but has a renewable scriber that can be adjusted for wear, as well as being replaced when excessively worn.

Vernier caliper

Parts of a vernier caliper: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. Outside jaws: used to measure external diameter or width of an object Inside jaws: used to measure internal diameter of an object Depth probe: used to measure depths of an object or a hole Main scale: scale marked every mm Main scale: scale marked in inches and fractions Vernier gives interpolated measurements to 1/10 mm or better Vernier gives interpolated measurements in fractions of an inch Retainer: used to block movable part to allow the easy transferring of a measurement

The vernier, dial, and digital calipers give a direct reading of the distance measured to high accuracy. They are functionally identical, with different ways of reading the result. These calipers comprise a calibrated scale with a fixed jaw, and another jaw, with a pointer, that slides along the scale. The distance between the jaws is then read in different ways for the three types. The simplest method is to read the position of the pointer directly on the scale. When the pointer is between two markings, the user can mentally interpolate to improve the precision of the reading. This would be a simple calibrated caliper; but the addition of a vernier scale allows more accurate interpolation, and is the universal practice; this is the vernier caliper. Vernier, dial, and digital calipers can measure internal dimensions (using the uppermost jaws in the picture at right), external dimensions using the pictured lower jaws, and in many cases depth by the use of a probe that is attached to the movable head and slides along the centre of the body. This probe is slender and can get into deep grooves that may prove difficult for other measuring tools. The vernier scales may include metric measurements on the lower part of the scale and inch measurements on the upper, or vice versa, in countries that use inches. Vernier

calipers commonly used in industry provide a precision to a hundredth of a millimetre (10 micrometres), or one thousandth of an inch. They are available in sizes that can measure up to 72 in (1,800 mm).[6]

Dial caliper

Mitutoyo dial caliper Instead of using a vernier mechanism, which requires some practice to use, the dial caliper reads the final fraction of a millimeter or inch on a simple dial. In this instrument, a small, precise gear rack drives a pointer on a circular dial, allowing direct reading without the need to read a vernier scale. Typically, the pointer rotates once every inch, tenth of an inch, or 1 millimeter. This measurement must be added to the coarse whole inches or centimeters read from the slide. The dial is usually arranged to be rotatable beneath the pointer, allowing for "differential" measurements (the measuring of the difference in size between two objects, or the setting of the dial using a master object and subsequently being able to read directly the plus-or-minus variance in size of subsequent objects relative to the master object). The slide of a dial caliper can usually be locked at a setting using a small lever or screw; this allows simple go/no-go checks of part sizes.

Digital caliper
A refinement now popular is the replacement of the analog dial with an electronic digital display on which the reading is displayed as a single value. Some digital calipers can be switched between centimeters or millimeters, and inches. All provide for zeroing the display at any point along the slide, allowing the same sort of differential measurements as with the dial caliper. Digital calipers may contain some sort of "reading hold" feature, allowing the reading of dimensions even in awkward locations where the display cannot be seen. Ordinary 6-in/150-mm digital calipers are made of stainless steel, have a rated accuracy of .001" (.02mm) and resolution of .0005" (.01mm). [7] The same technology is used to make longer 8-in and 12-in calipers; the accuracy for bigger measurements declines to .001" (.03mm) for 100-200mm and .0015" (.04mm) for 200-300mm. [8] Many Chinese-made digital calipers are inexpensive and perform reasonably well. One point worth noting is battery current when they are turned off. Many calipers do not stop drawing power when the switch is in the off position; they shut down the display but continue drawing nearly as much current. The current may be as much as 20 microamperes,[9] which is much higher than many established brands. Sometimes calipers may not work properly when the battery voltage has dropped relatively little; silver cells, preferably selected from a datasheet to have a constant voltage for most of

their life, may give a much longer usable life than alkaline button cells (e.g., SR44 instead of LR44).[9][10] Increasingly, digital calipers offer a serial data output to allow them to be interfaced with a dedicated recorder or a personal computer. The digital interface significantly decreases the time to make and record a series of measurements, and it also improves the reliability of the records. A suitable device to convert the serial data output to common computer interfaces such as RS-232, Universal Serial Bus, or wireless can be built or purchased. With such a converter, measurements can be directly entered into a spreadsheet, a Statistical Process Control program, or similar software. The serial digital output varies among manufacturers. Common options are Mitutoyo's Digimatic interface. This is the dominant name brand interface. Format is 52-bits arranged as 13 nibbles.[11][12][13][14] Sylvac interface. This is the common protocol for inexpensive, non-name brand, calipers. Format is 24 bit 90 kHz synchronous.[15][16] Starrett[17] Brown & Sharpe[17] Federal Mahr (appears to offer Digimatic, RS232, and USB) Tesa[17] Aldi. Format is 7 BCD digits.[16]

Like dial calipers, the slide of a digital caliper can usually be locked using a lever or thumb-screw. Digital calipers contain a capacitive linear encoder. A pattern of bars is etched directly on the printed circuit board in the slider. Under the scale of the caliper another printed circuit board also contains an etched pattern of lines. The combination of these printed circuit boards forms two variable capacitors. The two capacitances are out of phase. As the slider moves the capacitance changes in a linear fashion and in a repeating pattern. The circuitry built into the slider counts the bars as the slider moves and does a linear interpolation based on the magnitudes of the capacitors to find the precise position of the slider.

Micrometer caliper
Main article: Micrometer A caliper using a calibrated screw for measurement, rather than a slide, is called a micrometer caliper or, more often, simply a micrometer. (Sometimes the term caliper, referring to any other type in this article, is held in contradistinction to micrometer.)

Comparison

Each of the above types of calipers have their relative merits and faults. Vernier calipers are rugged and have long lasting accuracy, are coolant proof, are not affected by magnetic fields, and are largely shock proof. They may have both centimeter and inch scales. However, vernier calipers require good eyesight or a magnifying glass to read and can be difficult to read from a distance or from awkward angles. It is relatively easy to misread the last digit. Dial calipers are comparatively easy to read, especially when seeking exact center by rocking and observing the needle movement. They can be set to 0 at any point for comparisons. They are usually fairly susceptible to shock damage. They are also very prone to getting dirt in the gears, which can cause accuracy problems. Digital calipers switch easily between centimeter and inch systems.They can be set to 0 easily at any point with full count in either direction, and can take measurements even if the display is completely hidden, either by using a "hold" key, or by zeroing the display and closing the jaws, showing the correct measurement, but negative. They can be mechanically and electronically fragile. Most also require batteries, and do not resist coolant well. They are also only moderately shockproof, and can be vulnerable to dirt. Calipers may read to a resolution of 0.01 mm or 0.0005", but accuracy may not be better than about 0.02 mm or 0.001" for 150 mm (6") calipers, and worse for longer ones.[18]

Use
Using the vernier caliper A caliper must be properly applied against the part in order to take the desired measurement. For example, when measuring the thickness of a plate a vernier caliper must be held at right angles to the piece. Some practice may be needed to measure round or irregular objects correctly. Accuracy of measurement when using a caliper is highly dependent on the skill of the operator. Regardless of type, a caliper's jaws must be forced into contact with the part being measured. As both part and caliper are always to some extent elastic, the amount of force used affects the indication. A consistent, firm touch is correct. Too much force results in an underindication as part and tool distort; too little force gives insufficient contact and an overindication. This is a greater problem with a caliper incorporating a wheel, which lends mechanical advantage. This is especially the case with digital calipers, calipers out of adjustment, or calipers with a poor quality beam. Simple calipers are uncalibrated; the measurement taken must be compared against a scale. Whether the scale is part of the caliper or not, all analog calipersverniers and dialsrequire good eyesight in order to achieve the highest precision. Digital calipers have the advantage in this area.

Calibrated calipers may be mishandled, leading to loss of zero. When a calipers' jaws are fully closed, it should of course indicate zero. If it does not, it must be recalibrated or repaired. It might seem that a vernier caliper cannot get out of calibration but a drop or knock can be enough. Digital calipers have zero set buttons. Vernier, dial and digital calipers can be used with accessories that extend their usefulness. Examples are a base that extends their usefulness as a depth gauge and a jaw attachment that allows measuring the center distance between holes. Since the 1970s a clever modification of the moveable jaw on the back side of any caliper allows for step or depth measurements in addition to external caliper measurements, in similar fashion to a universal micrometer (e.g., Starrett Mul-T-Anvil or Mitutoyo Uni-Mike).

Go/no go gauge
A Go-NoGo gauge (or Go/no go) refers to an inspection tool used to check a workpiece against its allowed tolerances. Its name derives from its use: the gauge has two tests; the check involves the workpiece having to pass one test (Go) and fail the other (No Go). It is an integral part of the quality process that is used in the manufacturing industry to ensure interchangeability of parts between processes, or even between different manufacturers. A Go NoGo gauge is a measuring tool that does not return a size in the conventional sense, but instead returns a state. The state is either acceptable (the part is within tolerance and may be used) or it is unacceptable (and must be rejected). They are well suited for use in the production area of the factory as they require little skill or interpretation to use effectively and have few, if any, moving parts to be damaged in the often hostile production environment.

Plug gauge

Hardened and ground plug gauge

These gauges are referred to as plug gauges; they are used in the manner of a plug. They are generally assembled from standard parts where the gauge portion is interchangeable

with other gauge pieces (obtained from a set of pin type gauge blocks) and a body that uses the collet principle to hold the gauges firmly. To use this style of gauge, one end is inserted into the part first and depending on the result of that test, the other end is tried. In the right hand image, the top gauge is a thread gauge that is screwed into the part to be tested, the labeled GO end will enter into the part fully, the NOT GO end should not. The lower image is a plain plug gauge used to check the size of a hole, the green end is the GO, red is the NO GO. The tolerance of the part this gauge checks is 0.30mm where the lower size of the hole is 12.60mm and the upper size is 12.90mm, every size outside this range is out of tolerance. This may be initially expressed on the parts drawing in a number of styles, three possibilities may be:

12.75mm +/- 0.15mm 12.60mm +0.30 -0.00 12.90mm +0.00 -0.30

[edit] Snap gauge

Snap go/no go gauge for the OD of a cylindrical workpiece

Thread snap gauge Snap gauges (or snap gage) are oftentimes used when a large quantity of workpieces must be inspected.[1] The snap gauge has four anvils or jaws, the first one or pair (outermost) are set using the upper limit (tolerance) of the part and the inner set adjusted to the lower limit of the part. A correctly machined part will pass the first set of jaws and stop at the

second end of test. In this manner a part may be checked in one action, unlike the plug gauge that needs to be used twice and flipped to access the second gauge.

[edit] Other styles


Once the concept is understood, the principle of operation can lead to all manner of designs where internal grooves, keyways, splines etc. may be measured in a simple yet effective manner. These will often be made to order by the toolmakers, or a related skilled tradesman.