Frequently Asked Questions About Dial Indicators

What are dial indicators used for?

Dial indicators are mechanical magnifying devices used for dimensional comparison. They are widely used as basic gages for measuring linear dimensions. They are mainly used for comparative measurements with gages and fixtures.

They provide easy-to-read quantitative measurements and give users a comparative sense that their parts are in the right ballpark.

Dial indicators excel at repetitive, comparative measurements.

They are useful for measuring runout, height, flatness, and/or distance.

What is the accuracy of dial indicators in measuring dimensions?

Dial indicators vary widely in type, size, and range. They can indicate dimensional variations as small as 0.00005 inches. The resolution (least grad) for dial indicators is typically 0.001 inches, but some are available with a resolution as small as 0.00005 inches.

Dial indicators are devices used to measure angles, positions, and movements.

They can measure ranges from 0.25 mm to 300 mm, with graduations of 0.001 mm to 0.01 mm.

They can be used for both linear and angular measurements, depending on the application.

How are dial indicators used for linear measurements?

Dial indicators can be used for measuring and checking linear dimensions. They operate on the principle that a very slight upward pressure on the spindle at the contact point is multiplied.

Can dial indicators be used for angular measurements?

Yes, dial indicators can also measure angular displacement. If a force is perpendicular to the finger, the linear displacement is converted into angular displacement.

What are the types of dial indicators?

There are several types of dial indicators, including balanced reading dial indicators, continuous reading dial indicators, and digital dial indicators. The type of dial indicator used will depend on the specific application and measurement needed.

What are the applications of dial indicators in machining and manufacturing industries?

Dial indicators are commonly used in machining and manufacturing industries for several reasons:

  • Inspecting variations in tolerance of machined parts
  • Measuring deflection of beams, rings, or rods
  • Calibrating machines
  • Manufacturing precision tools
  • Centering a workpiece in a lathe
  • Inspecting for lateral run-out of a rotor
  • What are the limitations and restrictions of using dial indicators?

    There are limitations and restrictions in using dial indicators for certain types of measurements. Some of the limitations and restrictions include:

  • Not suitable for time-based phenomena or fast vibrations
  • Measurement must be confined to a portion of the dial range
  • Not suitable for measuring the depth of holes
  • Limited in space and sensitive to gravity
  • Require interpretation by the operator
  • How should a dial indicator be placed for accurate measurements?

    To ensure accurate measurements with a dial indicator, the contact point should be placed on a flat and stable surface perpendicular to the object being measured. The contact point should be positioned at a right angle to the surface being measured, and the force applied to the contact point should be consistent and perpendicular to the surface.

    The contact point should also be clean and free of debris to prevent any interference with the measurement.

    What factors should be considered when selecting a dial indicator?

    When selecting a dial indicator for specific measurement tasks, several factors should be considered:

  • Range: The range of the dial indicator should be appropriate for the measurement task at hand.
  • Resolution: The resolution of the dial indicator should be appropriate for the measurement task.
  • Accuracy: The accuracy of the dial indicator should be appropriate for the measurement task.
  • Dial size: The size of the dial should be appropriate for the measurement task.
  • Contact point: The contact point of the dial indicator should be appropriate for the measurement task.
  • Type of measurement: The type of measurement needed should be considered when selecting a dial indicator.
  • Zero setting: Zero setting is important to eliminate errors.
  • Permissible errors of indication: The permissible errors of indication should be evaluated inclusive of the uncertainty of calibration.
  • Supporting stand: The supporting stand should be appropriate for the measurement task.
  • Why is calibrating dial indicators important?

    Calibrating measuring instruments is important for ensuring accuracy and consistency in manufactured products. Regular calibration of dial indicators can help ensure that they are measuring accurately and consistently.

    Who should be responsible for operating and maintaining dial indicators?

    In a workshop or manufacturing setting, the responsibility for operating and maintaining dial indicators may vary depending on the specific workplace. Operators who are trained and qualified to use the dial indicators should be responsible for operating them.

    Maintenance personnel should be responsible for maintaining and calibrating the dial indicators.

    Is training required to use a dial indicator?

    Using a dial indicator for dimensional measurement may require some training or expertise. There are several training courses available that cover the use of dial indicators and other measurement tools.

    It is recommended to receive proper training before using a dial indicator or any other measurement tool to ensure accurate and reliable results.

    Looking for a dial indicator?

    Choosing a dial indicator can be very difficult if you know nothing about them.

    So I created this quick, newbie guide to help you:

    The best Dial Indicator and how to choose one for you

    Links and references

    1. "Dial Indicators/Dial Test Indicators"
    2. "Dial indicators (for linear measurements)"
    3. "Dial Indicator Alignment Basics"
    4. "How to Read a Dial Indicator"
    5. "Dial Indicator an overview"
    6. "Helpful Hints from Fundamentals of Dimensional Metrology"

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