A low-cost, non-hazardous protocol for surface texturing of glass particles

Anelechi Ibekwe, Yukie Tanino* (Corresponding Author), Dubravka Pokrajac

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


We present a cheap, efficient, and non-hazardous protocol for altering the roughness of hard particles at the nanometer-scale using a stone tumbler, a tool which is normally used for polishing stones. Six different textures were achieved by lining the tumbler with sandpaper of mean grit diameters dg=201 , 58.5, 18.3, 12.6, and 8.4μm . Two textures were created by tumbling a batch of glass spheres for 4 h and for 12 h with the 12.6μm sandpaper; all other textures were established by tumbling for 12 h. Surface roughness was characterized by the integral length scale, ξ , evaluated from 7 nm/pix resolution scanning electron microscope images. Roughness size increased from ξ=24 to 31 nm as the grit size decreased from dg=201 to 18.3μm , and then decreased to ξ=6.4nm at the smallest dg . The largest ξ(=34nm) was achieved using a 12.6μm sandpaper and the shorter tumbling time of 4 h. The permeability of a packed column of the particles broadly decreased with increasing ξ , indicating that permeability decreases with increasing roughness size.
Original languageEnglish
Article number115
Number of pages6
JournalTribology Letters
Issue number4
Early online date30 Sept 2019
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

Bibliographical note

This material contains work supported by an Aberdeen Formation Evaluation Society student bursary and a Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts Foundation grant. AI was supported by a University of Aberdeen School of Engineering Elphinstone Ph.D. studentship. Electron microscopy was performed in the ACEMAC Facility at University of Aberdeen; the authors thank John Still for the acquisition of the SEM images. The authors gratefully acknowledge Alfred R. Akisanya and Mark Gourlay for helpful suggestions on the texturing protocol. The authors thank the anonymous reviewer for his/her comments. All data used in this study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.


  • surface roughness
  • SEM
  • abrasive wear
  • glass
  • polishing
  • permeability
  • surface metrology
  • correlation length
  • Glass
  • SIZE
  • Polishing
  • Surface roughness
  • Permeability
  • Surface metrology
  • FLOW
  • Abrasive wear
  • Correlation length


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