ASTM E376 - 17

    Standard Practice for Measuring Coating Thickness by Magnetic-Field or Eddy Current (Electromagnetic) Testing Methods

    Active Standard ASTM E376 | Developed by Subcommittee: E07.07

    Book of Standards Volume: 03.03


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    Significance and Use

    4.1 General—Most thickness gages are not applicable to all combinations of coating-substrate thicknesses and materials. The limitations of a particular instrument are generally delineated by its manufacturer. The substrate material and coating combination to be measured as well as the inherent variations in the substrate and coating shall be reviewed prior to selecting the instrument to be used and the measurement accuracy required.

    4.2 Magnetic—Magnetic-type gauges measure either magnetic attraction between a magnet and a coating or its substrate, or reluctance of a magnetic flux path passing through the coating and substrate. These gauges are designed to measure thickness of a nonmagnetic coating on a magnetic substrate. Some of them will also measure thickness of nickel coatings on a magnetic or nonmagnetic substrate.6

    4.3 Eddy Current—Eddy current-type thickness gauges are electronic instruments that measure variations in impedance of an eddy current inducing coil caused by coating thickness variations. They can only be used if the electrical conductivity of the coating differs significantly from that of the substrate.

    4.4 Accuracy—The accuracy of a measurement depends on the instrument, the foils, its calibration and standardization, and its operating conditions. The accuracy is also affected by the interferences listed in Section 5, such as part geometry (curvature), magnetic permeability, electrical conductivity, and surface roughness.

    Note 2: This practice under ideal conditions may allow the coating thickness to be determined within ±10 % of its true thickness or to within ±2.5 μm (or ±0.0001-in.), whichever is the greater. (See exceptions in Appendix X2.)

    1. Scope

    1.1 This practice covers the use of magnetic- and eddy current-type thickness instruments (gauges) for nondestructive thickness measurement of a coating on a metal (i.e. electrically conducting) substrate. The substrate may be ferrous or nonferrous. The coating or plating being measured may be electrically conducting or insulating as well as ferrous or non-ferrous.

    1.2 More specific uses of these instruments are covered by Practice D7091 and the following test methods issued by ASTM: Test Methods B244, B499, and B530.

    1.3 Units—The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as standard. The values given in parentheses are mathematical conversions to inch-pound units that are provided for information only and are not considered standard.

    1.4 Measurements made in accordance with this practice will be in compliance with the requirements of ISO 2178 as printed in 1982.

    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, health, and environmental practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.

    1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.


    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

    B244 Test Method for Measurement of Thickness of Anodic Coatings on Aluminum and of Other Nonconductive Coatings on Nonmagnetic Basis Metals with Eddy-Current Instruments

    B499 Test Method for Measurement of Coating Thicknesses by the Magnetic Method: Nonmagnetic Coatings on Magnetic Basis Metals

    B530 Test Method for Measurement of Coating Thicknesses by the Magnetic Method: Electrodeposited Nickel Coatings on Magnetic and Nonmagnetic Substrates

    D7091 Practice for Nondestructive Measurement of Dry Film Thickness of Nonmagnetic Coatings Applied to Ferrous Metals and Nonmagnetic, Nonconductive Coatings Applied to Non-Ferrous Metals

    E543 Specification for Agencies Performing Nondestructive Testing

    E1316 Terminology for Nondestructive Examinations

    International Standards

    ISO 2178 Nonmagnetic Coatings on Magnetic SubstrateMeasurement of Coating ThicknessMagnetic Method Available from American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 25 W. 43rd St., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036, http://www.ansi.org.

    ASNT Standards

    ANSI/ASNT-CP-189 Standard for Qualification and Certification of NDT Personnel

    SNT-TC-1A Recommended Practice for Personnel Qualification and Certification in Nondestructive Testing


    ICS Code

    ICS Number Code 17.040.20 (Properties of surfaces)

    UNSPSC Code

    UNSPSC Code 41111801(Eddy current examination equipment)


    Referencing This Standard
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    DOI: 10.1520/E0376-17

    Citation Format

    ASTM E376-17, Standard Practice for Measuring Coating Thickness by Magnetic-Field or Eddy Current (Electromagnetic) Testing Methods, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2017, www.astm.org

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