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Title : Dimensional Metrology

Objective:
i. To learn to use a ruler, a vernier calipers and micrometer to measure dimensions.
ii. To study the accuracy and precision of a ruler, a vernier calipers and micrometer to measure
dimensions.
Apparatus:
1. Measurement device
a) Steel Ruler
b) Vernier Calipers
c) Micrometer Screw Gauge
2. Measured items
1. Rectangular box
2. Solid cylindrical bar
3. Disc
4. Hollow cylinder bar
Procedure:
1. Using a ruler
i. A ruler was used to measure the length, width and thickness of the rectangular box. The
precision was observed. The precision of a measuring instrument is determined by the
smallest unit which it can measure.
ii. The length and external diameter of the solid cylindrical bar was also measured with the
ruler.
iii. The ruler was also used to measure the thickness and external diameter of the disc.
iv. The external diameter and internal diameter of the hollow cylindrical bar was also
measured with the ruler.
v. 5 readings were taken for each measurement at different positions on the object, so that a
better average can be obtained.
vi. The readings were recorded in a table.
2. Using the vernier calipers
i. The readings were noted when the jaws are closed.
ii. The zero error of the vernier calipers were checked before taking each reading.
iii. 5 readings were taken for each measurement at different positions on the object, so that a
better average can be obtained.
iv. The readings were recorded in a table.
3. Using the micrometer
i. The zero error of the micrometer screw gauge was checked before taking each reading.
ii. 5 readings were taken for each measurement at different positions on the object, so that a
better average can be obtained.
iii. The readings were recorded in a table.
4. Similarly the measuring apparatus were used to measure the dimensions of the cylindrical bar,
disc and hollow cylindrical bar.
5. The results were tabulated in a table.
6. The average and standard deviation of each measurement were calculated.
7. Suitable graphs for all measurement sets were drawn to visualize the finding.

Discussion:
Based from the experiment, the resolutions of the ruler, vernier calipers and micrometer used
were identified. Resolution of a measurement device is the minimum increment or the minimum value
that can be read on a scale. Accuracy is how closed a measured value is to the actual(true) value. On the
other hand, precision is how close the measured values are to each other.



The metre rule that was used in the experiment has the resolution like the above figure, which is
of 0.5mm. On the other hand, the resolution of a vernier calipers that was used in the experiement is of
0.02mm as shown in the figure below.





The figure above shows the micrometer that was used in the experiment and has a resolution of
0.01mm.
When carrying out the experiment, some dimensions of the measured items were not measured
using the measured devices, for instance, the external diameter of the disc was not measured using the
micrometer because the disc was too big to be fit into the gap between the anvil and the spindle.

A figure showing the components of a micrometer.
From the experiment, it can be seen that the metre rule is the device with the lowest
measurement precision. For instance, the length of the disc is 10.0 mm +/- 0.5mm long. Note that the
error of 0.5mm is about 5% of the measurement, which is not precise. On the other hand, the micrometer
is the most precise measurement device, which can be also seen in the length of the disc taken with the
micrometer which is 10.00mm +/- 0.01mm. Note that the error of 0.01mm is only about 0.1% of the
entire measurement.
Hence, a graph of the dimension of the measured items were plotted to further analyzed and
compare the precision and accuracy of the measured devices. Based from the graph patterns of 7 graphs
out of 9 graphs which have the readings of ruler, vernier calipers and micrometer, it can always be seen
that the measurements of vernier calipers and micrometer screw gauge are more precise and accurate
and may sometimes have the same readings. Furthermore, from the calculated standard deviation, the
micrometer and vernier calipers have a smaller standard deviation in the values most of the time.
There are some readings from the vernier calipers and micrometer which are not precise or
accurate, which is most probably due to human error. There 2 types of error for this experiment which is
human error and device error. However, it is less unlikely to be device error for vernier calipers and
micrometer due to the small and precise resolution in them. Device error might occur for the metre rule.
For instance, the 0.5mm on the scale of the metre rule may have a 0.1% error from the actual 0.5mm,
thus causing the measurements to slightly deviate from the actual value. On the other hand, human
errors are more likely to occur during the experiment, such as parallax error and zero error. However,
the device were checked for zero error every time before taking the measurements, thus leaving parallax
error. Parallax error might have occurred at some point of the time because our eye position might not
have been perpendicular to the scale of the reading. Consequently causing some inconsistency, resulting
in the decreased in preciseness.
Conclusion:
From this experiment, we have learn to use a ruler, vernier calipers and micrometer correctly and
accurately to measure the dimension of objects. We have also learn the accuracy and precision of the
measurement devices. Micrometer has the highest accuracy and precision, vernier calipers has moderate
accuracy and precision, while ruler has the lowest precision and accuracy.

References:
Accuracy and precision.(2012).Retrieve on Feb 26, 2013. From http://www.mathsisfun.com/accuracy-
precision.html

Accuracy of calipers.(n.d).Retrieve on Feb 26, 2013. From
http://www.tresnainstrument.com/accuracy_of_calipers.html

The precision of micrometer readings.(n.d).Retrieve on Feb 26, 2013. From
http://www.tresnainstrument.com/the_precision_of_micrometer_readings.html

V.Ryan.(2009).The micrometer. Retrieve on Feb 26, 2013. From
http://www.technologystudent.com/equip1/microm1.htm.