Applications and Uses

Our gauges and meters are precision instruments for quantitative non-destructive testing, inspection and measurement of coating and surface characteristics.

Our coating thickness gauges and gloss meters are used in a variety of settings for a range of purposes, with a user base ranging from industrial businesses to automotive professionals to enthusiasts. Being digital electronic gauges our coating thickness gauges are more accurate and feature packed than older style mechanical pull-off gauges that could only read on steel. While our coating thickness gauges measure depths of a variety of coatings on metal substrates, the most common application is measurement of thickness of applied paint. Hence the commonly used, but more narrow, term “paint thickness gauge” or more generically “paint gauge”.

Likewise, while our gloss meters can measure surface lustre of a variety of materials, a common application is measurement of reflectivity of paint (both automotive and non-automotive).… Read more

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Gloss Measurement

Gloss is an important aesthetic characteristic that can be quantitavely measured. Gloss meters facilitate this quality control process.

What is gloss?

Gloss is defined by NIST as the perception by an observer of the shiny appearance of a surface.  It is a measure of the reflective characteristics of a surface and is important in visual appearance. More specifically, it is a measure of the level of specular reflection of a surface.  Lower gloss surfaces have a higher level of diffuse reflection.

What affects gloss level?

The finish and texture of a surface are significant factors in determining gloss level.  A smooth surface will have a higher gloss level than a textured or rough surface.  Material type is also relevant, as it can determine how much incident light is absorbed into a material versus being reflected. … Read more

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International Standards

There are a variety of international standards that describe and apply to the taking of different types of measurements. These standards aim to standardise and set-out the techniques for undertaking such measurements, ensuring a consistent approach internationally and comparability.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the key international body publishing standards. National bodies often adopt these standards and publish them in their countries. In the UK the national body is is the British Standards Institution (BSI) and in the USA it is the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).

What standards apply to coating thickness measurement?

ISO 2178 – Non-magnetic coatings on magnetic substrates — Measurement of coating thickness — Magnetic method

ISO 2360 – Non-conductive coatings on nonmagnetic electrically conductive base metals — Measurement of coating thickness — Amplitude-sensitive eddy-current method

Our FN Z, FN Evo, FN Ext, and FN Max coating thickness gauges follow both of these standards.… Read more

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Construction Materials and Coatings

The construction industry uses a variety of materials. Metals are used in structural and finishing roles. The application of a protective or aesthetic coating to the metal will depend on material type, environmental exposure, and visibility. Inspection of any applied coatings is important from quality control, cost, and aesthetic perspectives.

Galvanised coatings

Galvanised steel is commonly used in construction elements which are exposed to the atmosphere and thus corrosive moisture. Some applications include utility pylons, structural towers, bridges, roofing, and warehouses. Galvanising consists of a corrosion protective zinc coating applied to a steel substrate to prevent rust when it is exposed to the elements. The coating provides cathodic and barrier type corrosion protection.

Steel silos with a galvanised coating

The thickness of the zinc coating applied to the steel depends on a number of factors.… Read more

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Marine Industry Inspection

The marine industry uses a range of materials in construction of vessels, both to their interiors and exteriors.

Certain segments, such as the yacht market, can have exacting specifications and customers with high expectations. Contracts may include specifications, for example of paint thickness on or gloss level of exterior or interior finishes. In light of this, quality inspection of work undertaken is of paramount importance from contractual, customer satisfaction, and reputational perspectives. The use of test equipment than can provide quantitative measurements of these specifications is important to assess work and provide evidence of results.

Quality inspection of surface finish is important in the marine industry
Coating thickness measurement

Coatings are applied to ship and boat interior and exterior surfaces for both protection and aesthetic purposes.… Read more

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