ASTM D4414 - 95(2013)

    Standard Practice for Measurement of Wet Film Thickness by Notch Gages

    Active Standard ASTM D4414 | Developed by Subcommittee: D01.23

    Book of Standards Volume: 06.01


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 Wet film thickness measurements of coatings applied on articles can be very helpful in controlling the thickness of the final dry coating, although in some specifications the wet film thickness is specified. Most protective and high performance coatings are applied to meet a requirement or specification for dry film thickness for each coat or for the completed coating system, or for both.

    4.2 There is a direct relationship between dry film thickness and wet film thickness. The wet film/dry film ratio is determined by the volume of volatiles in the coating as applied, including permitted thinning. With some flat coatings the dry film thickness is higher than that calculated from the wet film thickness. Consequently, the results from the notch gage are not to be used to verify the nonvolatile content of a coating.

    4.3 Measurement of wet film thickness at the time of application is most appropriate as it permits correction and adjustment of the film by the applicator at the time of application. Correction of the film after it has dried or chemically cured requires costly extra labor time, may lead to contamination of the film, and may introduce problems of adhesion and integrity of the coating system.

    4.4 The procedures using notched gages do not provide as accurate or sensitive measurements of wet film thickness as do the Interchemical and Pfund gages described in Test Methods D1212. Notch gages may, however, be used on nonuniform surfaces, like concrete block, that are too rough to use the Interchemical and Pfund gages. Also notched gages can be very useful in the shop and field for determining the approximate thickness of wet films over commercial articles where size(s) and shape(s) are not suitable for measurements by other types of gages. Examples of such items are ellipses, thin edges, and corners.

    4.5 An operator experienced in the use of a notched gage can monitor the coating application well enough to ensure the minimum required film thickness will be obtained.

    4.6 Application losses, such as overspray, loss on transfer, and coating residue in application equipment, are a significant unmeasurable part of the coating used on a job and are not accounted for by measurement of wet film thickness.

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice describes the use of thin rigid metal notched gages, also called step or comb gages, in the measurement of wet film thickness of organic coatings, such as paint, varnish, and lacquer.

    1.2 Notched gage measurements are neither accurate nor sensitive, but they are useful in determining approximate wet film thickness of coatings on articles where size(s) and shape(s) prohibit the use of the more precise methods given in Test Methods D1212.

    1.3 This practice is divided into the following two procedures:

    1.3.1 Procedure A—A square or rectangular rigid metal gage with notched sides is used to measure wet film thicknesses ranging from 3 to 2000 μm (0.5 to 80 mils 1). Such a gage is applicable to coatings on flat substrates and to coatings on articles of various sizes and complex shapes where it is possible to get the end tabs of the gage to rest in the same plane on the substrate.

    1.3.2 Procedure B—A circular thin rigid metal notched gage is used to measure wet film thicknesses ranging from 25 to 2500 μm (1 to 100 mils ). Such a gage is applicable to coatings on flat substrates and to coatings on objects of various sizes and complex shapes.

    1.4 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as the standard. The values given in parentheses are for information only.

    1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.


    2. Referenced Documents (purchase separately) The documents listed below are referenced within the subject standard but are not provided as part of the standard.

    ASTM Standards

    D1212 Test Methods for Measurement of Wet Film Thickness of Organic Coatings


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 87.040 (Paints and varnishes)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 31210000(Paints and primers and finishes)


    DOI: 10.1520/D4414

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