Method for Generating and Realizing Replicates of Randomly Roughened Surfaces, Tested on Poly Methyl (Methacrylate)

H. Medina, B. Hinderliter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In experimental studies the need of having replicates of specimens is crucial. This requirement becomes even more critical when performing statistical analysis in combination with destructive tests. We report a novel technique to generate and realize random rough surfaces at different stages of degradation based on the central limit theorem, with either linear or nonlinear growth. To materialize the technique, the realization of surfaces is carried out using poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) as substrate, a CO2 laser system as etcher, and degradation is assumed to be linear. To substantiate this method, profiling, imaging analysis, and nanoindentation characterizations techniques are utilized. Though the depths of surfaces developed here grow to Gaussian, the present method can be adapted to any other topology, as long as the surface is mathematically or digitally represented. A successful application of this method using PMMA has been previously reported. The extension to other polymeric materials is dependent solely on the etching process to be used. This method finds direct applications in the forensic sciences, where the safeguarding of evidence material is crucial, allowing for replicate surrogates for destructive testing purposes. Other applications include tribology, in vitro testing of sun protecting factor, and coatings studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Techniques
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Materials Behaviors
  • Mechanical
  • Statistical Analysis


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