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Foreign Material effects on measurements

Does Foreign Material effects measurements?

The answer to this question is quite simple and that is yes. Here we explain what the FM is and how it effects the measurement process!

What is FM?

FM stands for Foreign Material.

An unwanted material present in an equipment or system which is not a part of it by design, called Foreign Material.

Foreign Material bad effects on measurements

So unwanted presence of any material  any where in industrial processes, engineering systems,workshops,scientific labs, practical experiments, medical studies and surgeries and even in daily life effects the results of every field and has its bad consequences.

For example there are many reported cases during a surgery doctors left paper towel or scissor in the patient abdomen, this is easily understandable and one of too many examples of FM intrusion and we can imagine it’s bad consequences.

So in all these fields, especially industries have their biggest concerns with FM because its results are damaging in such ways like personal injuries, equipment damages, system malfunctioning EST.

Here are some other examples of FM specifically affect measuring results:




Machining Chips

Welding impurities

Extended Sharp Edges

Welding defects

These are some of FMs those induction is possible depending upon, in which working environment and physical conditions measurement processes are taking place.

How Foreign Material affects measurements results:

Let’s understand how foreign materials change and make errors to readings. For better understanding we explain it case study form, so here are some cases:

  1. While measuring height of any engineering object placed on surface plate, if there is a tiny particle or a piece of chip(Foreign material) is under the object it effects output values accuracy badly. It turns into systematic error if obtained result is to be used in chain of measurements.

So we recommend thorough cleaning of surface plate before its any use in measuring process and also make sure that surface plate is placed on a level ground or table which is free from foreign materials.

  1. A machined part having Sharp Edges is to be measured; those sharp ones are hurdle to measure exact size of it because those are acting as FM and supposed to be there by design.

In a same manner Dirt or dust deposited on measuring points of instruments results in inaccurate readings and in some cases malfunctioning of an instrument like multi meter probes end covered with carbon can’t measure its readings.

Due to foreign materials hundreds of bad situation occurrence is possible. It’s depending upon different measuring instruments usage in different working environment and physical conditions.

It may be a new idea as far measurement process is concern but not in industrial circles because industries have faced great loses due to tiny little foreign materials for example an American power plant faced a loss of whole turbine rotor blades set because of a some cleaning towels left in turbine during overhaul.




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