Getting to the (decimal) Point: Why Micrometers are so Important

micrometer typesIt’s easy to underestimate the amount of work that goes into our modern day conveniences. Most people don’t open the refrigerator door and contemplate the thickness of it’s various levels. Yet, without the materials used being carefully and appropriately size, the refrigerator wouldn’t be able to keep the cold in, let alone keep the food from spoiling. While this is a more common example, there are many things in this world that simply wouldn’t work if the size, dimensions or proportions were off, which is why a Micrometer is so important.

What is a Micrometer

The micrometer we’re referring to in this instance is a tool, rather than a unit of measure (a micro-meter). The micrometer as a tool is used to gauge the thickness of a metal or a material to a very accurate degree. Many of them look like calipers (opposing ends joined by a frame and controlled by a screw dial) however micrometers come in many different shapes and sizes. When carefully calibrated, a micrometer is capable of gauging the thickness or gauge of a material (often, but not limited to, metal) to a very accurate degree, down to .001 which is very thin indeed.

Why is This So Important

There are many products that are designed to be constructed from certain gauges of certain materials. If the metal is too thin, it could become fragile and prone to breaking.  If the material is too thick, on the other hand, then the object might not function as desired. To picture that, imagine the hinge of a door, if it were too thick, the door would never close properly, or would cause damage to the surrounding frame. While a door not closing properly might seem like a mere inconvenience, imagine the other things in your life that depend on being of a uniform thickness, such as the windshield of your car. If one spot was thinner than another, that imperfection can cause a weak spot, resulting in the windshield shattering on impact.

There are many things in our lives that require to be either a certain gauge or uniform and even throughout, which is exactly what a micrometer is able to detect. If this weren’t the case, the results could range anywhere from inconvenient to catastrophic. In order for a micrometer to be accurate, it must be carefully made and calibrated, which is exactly what Garber Metrology specializes in. Whether its for functionality, safety, or saving your company valuable resources, Garber is the name to trust.