DeFelsko manufactures hand-held, non-destructive car paint meter that are perfect for use by automotive paint detailers. They allow full service detailers to quantitatively measure and management the quantity of clear coat eliminated when sanding and buffing automotive paints.

Choice #1
Easy, inexpensive gage for complete coating thickness measurement on steel panels.

The PosiTest DFT collection of gauges measure coatings as much as 40 mils (1000 microns) making them superb for non-destructive measurement of automotive paint thickness on quite a lot of metals. The PosiTest DFT Ferrous is right for measurements on metal panels, the place because the PosiTest DFT Combo is offered for measurement necessities on each metal and aluminum panels. With +three% accuracy and a zero.1 mil (2 micron) decision, the PosiTest DFT offers the aptitude to measure the quantity of paint eliminated whereas sanding and buffing. Authorized by main Vendor Gear Packages corresponding to Toyota, GM, BMW, Nissan, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Volkswagen. Product particulars can be found right here.

Choice #2
Rugged, versatile gage for complete coating thickness measurement on steel panels.

The PosiTector 6000 collection of gauges present related measurement capabilities with greater accuracy and determination. Numerous probes can be found with measuring ranges as much as 25 or 500 mils (625 um – 13mm) and a number of probes to measure varied shapes. With +1% accuracy and a zero.05 mil (1 micron) decision, these are among the many most correct devices obtainable. Further options corresponding to reminiscence and print functionality are additionally helpful to prospects with a want to log measurement outcomes. Based mostly on the supposed utility, custom-made gauges and probes can be found which are particularly designed for measuring on metal, aluminum or each kinds of steel. These high quality devices are utilized in all elements of car manufacturing, fleet inspection, and remarketing. Product particulars can be found right here.

Choice #three
Distinctive gage for non-metals.

The PosiTector 200 ultrasonic gauge has the distinctive potential to measure over non-metals corresponding to fiberglass panels, plastic bumpers and inside elements. It has +three% accuracy and a zero.1 mil (2 micron) decision. A easy gauge menu adjustment allows the operator to view the remaining quantity of clear coat whereas sprucing. Authorized to be used in BMW’s vendor tools program. Product particulars can be found right here.

Three Measurement Ideas
Paint thickness over exterior automotive supplies is greatest measured with hand-held, digital devices. Three sorts can be found and choice relies upon upon the kind of coating, the fabric being painted, and the dimensions and form of the half. These devices use magnetic, eddy present, or ultrasonic measuring strategies.

Magnetic Precept for Metal
Since metal is magnetic, paint thickness over metal is measured with magnetic (ferrous) gages using mechanical or digital operation.

Mechanical gages use a everlasting magnet, a calibrated spring, and a graduated scale. By measuring the drive required to tug the magnet off the coated floor, a thickness measurement could be decided. Low value magnetic pull-off gages present coarse measurements helpful for detecting bondo or different fillers beneath the paint. Their use by detailers is restricted. Accuracy is often +5% with costs round $350. Product particulars can be found right here.

Digital magnetic gages are way more in style within the detailing trade. They use a continuing stress probe to offer constant readings that aren’t influenced by totally different operators. Readings are proven on a liquid crystal show (LCD). Whereas most have fundamental operation, some have choices to retailer measurement outcomes, carry out instantaneous evaluation of readings, and output outcomes to a printer or laptop for additional examination. Accuracy is often between +1 to three% with costs ranging between $300 and $1,000.

PosiTector 6000 FN1
Eddy Present Precept for Aluminum
Paint thickness over all different metals corresponding to aluminum is measured utilizing an eddy present approach. When the instrument’s probe is introduced close to a steel (conductive) floor, a coil inside the probe generates an alternating magnetic subject that units up eddy currents on the steel’s floor. These eddy currents create their very own opposing electromagnetic subject that may be sensed by a second, adjoining coil.

Eddy present (non-ferrous) coating thickness gages look and function like digital magnetic gages. Additionally they use a continuing stress probe and show outcomes on an LCD with choices to print saved measurement outcomes.

It’s comparatively unusual to seek out devices that function solely with the eddy present precept on this trade. It’s extra more likely to discover gages that incorporate BOTH magnetic and eddy present rules into one unit. Some simplify the duty of measuring by switching robotically from one precept of operation to the opposite, relying upon the substrate. These “combo” models are usually priced between $400 and $1,500.

PosiTest DFT-C combo
Auto rotating show with rotation lock
Ultrasonic Precept for Plastic
An ultrasonic approach is used when measuring the thickness of paint over non-metal substrates corresponding to plastic and fiberglass. The probe of the instrument accommodates an ultrasonic transducer that sends a pulse by way of the coating. The heart beat displays again from the substrate to the transducer and is transformed right into a excessive frequency electrical sign that’s analyzed to find out coating thickness. In some circumstances, particular person layers in a multi-layer system could be measured. Costs vary between $1,800 and $four,000. For extra data on this kind of measurement, click on right here.

Ultrasonic PosiTector 200 B1
measuring on a plastic bumper

A whole dialogue on these and different kinds of coating thickness testing gadgets could be discovered right here.

Methods to Measure
Magnetic and Eddy Present

Flip Gage on.
Place the probe FLAT on the floor to be measured. HOLD STEADY. When a legitimate measurement is calculated, the Gage BEEPS and the measurement is displayed.
Elevate probe not less than 2 inches (5cm) from the floor between measurements – OR – go away probe on the floor in the identical location for steady measurements each 2 seconds. Don’t drag the probe sideways on the floor.
To sometimes confirm gage accuracy, comply with these easy steps:

Measure an uncoated half. This fast zero-check determines if a calibration adjustment is required for the actual object being measured.
Subsequent, lay the included plastic shims onto the naked floor and measure them individually to make sure the Gage can measure these identified thicknesses inside tolerance.
Calibration Requirements can be found with larger accuracy priced between $95 and $345.

Ultrasonic measurement of coating thickness works by sending an ultrasonic vibration right into a coating utilizing a probe with the help of a couplant utilized to the floor. A bottle of a standard glycol gel is included with each instrument. Alternatively, a drop of water can function couplant on easy, horizontal surfaces.

After a drop of couplant has been utilized to the floor of the coated half, the probe is positioned flat on the floor. Urgent down initiates a measurement. Lifting the probe when a double beep is heard or when the inexperienced indicator mild blinks holds the final measurement on the LCD. A second studying could also be taken on the identical spot by persevering with to carry the probe down on the floor. When completed, wipe the probe and the floor clear with a tissue or delicate fabric.