Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Stone Age tools help to streamline modern manufacturing

Date:
July 20, 2012
Source:
National Physical Laboratory
Summary:
Innovative research uses laser microscopes to explore how stone tools were used in prehistory, and the process has helped streamline surface measurement techniques for modern manufacturers.

Innovative research by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the University of Bradford used laser microscopes to explore how stone tools were used in prehistory, and the process has helped streamline surface measurement techniques for modern manufacturers.
Credit: eurobanks / Fotolia

Innovative research by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and the University of Bradford used laser microscopes to explore how stone tools were used in prehistory, and the process has helped streamline surface measurement techniques for modern manufacturers.

Related Articles


The analysis of stone tools is a key factor in understanding early human life including social organisation and diet. Archaeologists at the University of Bradford hypothesised that reconstructing past activities was the best way to study what each tool was used for. They proposed to measure the surface structures of replica stone tools before and after they were used in different reconstructions on two natural materials -- antler and wood.

NPL conducted surface measurement investigations on the replica tools using a confocal microscope to create a map of surface structure. Richard Leach, who led the work at NPL, said: "We measured the surfaces of each tool using a confocal microscope to create a map of its surface structure. Optical measurements create 3D constructions of each surface recorded without physically contacting the surface."

The measurements taken by NPL on each tool before, during and after wear experiments revealed variations in the surfaces that can be used to predict the use of the tools. The results offered interesting insight into the breadth of future experiments necessary to provide conclusive results on the use of stone tools in prehistory.

These measurements also formed part of a development process for new instruments being used in a wider NPL project to support all aspects of manufacturing: from turbine blades to grinding machines to mobile phone screens.

NPL has produced a range of equipment which allows the manufacturing world to gain a better understanding of surface topography, without using stylus instruments -- which have proved slow for in-process applications. NPL has worked in conjunction with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to develop the use of optical systems to conduct areal surface measurements, including instrumentation, calibration artefacts, good practice guides and reference software.

More accurate surface measurements allow manufacturers to revolutionise designs of existing and developing technologies, for example by controlling how the surfaces glide through air, absorb or repel water, or reflect light.

Richard Leach said: "Greater accuracy and more intelligent use of areal surface measurements impacts outputs such as improved fuel efficiency or the intelligence of touch screens. Using new ways to conduct surface measurements provides the opportunity for businesses to meet consumer demand for better quality and more streamlined products."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Physical Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Physical Laboratory. "Stone Age tools help to streamline modern manufacturing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120720103535.htm>.
National Physical Laboratory. (2012, July 20). Stone Age tools help to streamline modern manufacturing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 5, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120720103535.htm
National Physical Laboratory. "Stone Age tools help to streamline modern manufacturing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120720103535.htm (accessed March 5, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Gas Production Cut on Earthquake Fears

Reuters - Business Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) The Dutch government has cut production at Europe&apos;s largest gas field in Groningen amid concerns over earthquakes which are damaging local churches. As Amy Pollock reports the decision - largely politically-motivated - could have big economic conseqeunces. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Star Wars-Inspired Prototype Creates Holographic Display

Star Wars-Inspired Prototype Creates Holographic Display

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) A prototype holographic display named Leia - after the Star Wars princess who appeared in holographic form asking Obi-Wan Kenobu for help - is demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA and Samsung Launch Embedded Wireless Charging Range

IKEA and Samsung Launch Embedded Wireless Charging Range

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Mar. 5, 2015) Samsung and IKEA hope their new embedded wireless charging products, launched at Barcelona&apos;s Mobile World Congress, will tempt consumers eager for plugless power. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Samsung Unveils $30,000 'Dream Doghouse'

Samsung Unveils $30,000 'Dream Doghouse'

Buzz60 (Mar. 5, 2015) On display at the Crufts dog show in England, the &apos;dog kennel of the future&apos; comes with features like a doggie treadmill and Samsung tablet. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins