Significance and Use
4.1 This practice describes three operational steps necessary to ensure accurate coating thickness measurement: calibration, verification and adjustment of coating thickness measuring gages, as well as proper methods for obtaining coating thickness measurements on both ferrous and non-ferrous metal substrates.
4.2 Many specifications for commercial and industrial coatings projects stipulate a minimum and a maximum dry film thickness for each layer in a coating system. Additionally, most manufacturers of high performance coatings will warranty coating systems based upon, in part, achieving the proper thickness of each layer and the total coating system. Even if a project specification is not provided, the coating manufacturer’s recommendations published on product data sheets can become the governing document(s). Equipment manufacturers produce nondestructive coating thickness testing gages that are used to measure the cumulative or individual thickness of the coating layers, after they are dry. The manufacturers provide information for the adjustment and use of these gages, normally in the form of operating instructions. The user of this equipment must be knowledgeable in the proper operation of these devices, including methods for verifying the accuracy of the equipment prior to, during and after use as well as measurement procedures.
1.1 This practice describes the use of magnetic and eddy current gages for dry film thickness measurement. This practice is intended to supplement the manufacturers’ instructions for the manual operation of the gages and is not intended to replace them. It includes definitions of key terms, reference documents, the significance and use of the practice, the advantages and limitations of coating thickness gages, and a description of test specimens. It describes the methods and recommended frequency for verifying the accuracy of gages and for adjusting the equipment and lists the reporting recommendations.
1.2 These procedures are not applicable to coatings that will be readily deformed under the load of the measuring gages/probes, as the gage probe must be placed directly on the coating surface to obtain a reading. Provisions for measuring on soft or tacky coatings are described in 5.7.
1.3 Coating thickness can be measured using a variety of gages. These gages are categorized as “magnetic pull-off” and “electronic.” They use a sensing probe or magnet to measure the gap (distance) between the base metal and the probe. This measured distance is displayed as coating thickness by the gages.
1.4 Coating thickness can vary widely across a surface. As a result, obtaining single-point measurements may not accurately represent the actual coating system thickness. SSPC-PA2 prescribes a frequency of coating thickness measurement based on the size of the area coated. A frequency of measurement for coated steel beams (girders) and coated test panels is also provided in the appendices to SSPC-PA 2. The governing specification is responsible for providing the user with the minimum and the maximum coating thickness for each layer, and for the total coating system.
1.5 The values stated in inch-pound units are to be regarded as standard. No other units of measurement are included in this standard.
1.6 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.