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Measuring Powder Coating Thickness

Posted by David Newton at

How to measure powder coat thickness.

Measuring powder coating can be performed before and after curing. Evaluating the substrate type, part shape and thickness range help to determine the best powder coating equipment. Combs and ultrasonic instruments used on uncured powder might diminish the quality. Non-destructive tools used after-cure utilize eddy current, ultrasonic, micrometer measurement or magnetic principles to get the results needed. Let’s dig deeper into measuring powder coating thickness and what you need to know.

What is Powder Coating?

Of the various finishing technologies available, powder coating continues to be a popular option. This attractive paint-like finish protects, lasts long and remains resistant to fading, scratches and chips. It’s a seamless coating that is available in a multitude of textures, finishes and color options, ideal for customizing your vehicle.

Powder coating kits are also cost-effective. Most times, DIY powder coating doesn’t require a lot of effort or long curing times. The powder particles are made from finely ground resin and pigment particles. These charged powder particles transfer to an electrically grounded surface. That’s why there are multiple methods used during the powder coating process. You can utilize electrostatic spraying when in need of a thin coating or dip in a fluidized bed for a thick layer.

The powder fuses into a smooth coating while curing. Powders are either UV or thermal cured. You have an option between thermoplastic or thermosetting powders, based on what your needs are.

While powder coating has long been applied to metal, new technology allows it to adhere to plastic, MDF and ceramic now. There’s also plenty of research into using this particle on laminate and hardwood as well.

Why Measure Powder Coating Standard Thickness?

Any coating works best when it’s applied within a specified range. When done correctly, the powder coating produces optimal performance. Film thickness affects surface profile, gloss, color, flexibility, hardness, impact resistance and adhesion.

Fitting pieces together properly also depends on the thickness of your materials. That’s why all your coatings must be applied within the minimum and maximum specifications for your intended use.

When companies fail to check the coating quality, money is wasted. Testing the application ensures everything remains in compliance and ensures a job well done.

Even if you want to learn how to powder coat at home, using high-quality control equipment is essential to protecting your investment.

Measuring After Cure

Most times the cured thickness targets given by manufacturers are meant for post-cure. DFT instruments are affordable, common and simple to operate. They utilize eddy current, ultrasonic principles or magnetic properties to measure the substrate.

A micrometer checks coating thickness as well. These require measuring the coating in place and another without. Then, it figures the difference between those two readings to analyze depth.

Measuring Before Cure

Most people opt to measure after cure, but there are ways to do this before curing as well. By taking steps prior to curing, you prevent fixing problems after the job is complete. While this reduces labor time, it can also lead to film contamination, which introduces a new set of challenges.

ASTM test procedures outline three ways to predict cured thickness.

  • Non-contact ultrasonic instruments
  • Electronic coating gauges complete with a special probe for powder
  • Rigid comb gauges

How Does Fender Splendor Help With Measurement?

Measure powder coating thickness with the FenderSplendor Powder Coating Thickness Mil / Micron Meter Gauge

You receive access to a wide measuring range plus high-resolution readings in metric or imperial standards. The digital display provides precise readings so you don’t have to guess or face costly errors. It reads powder coating on aluminum wheels as well as steel components automatically.

In addition, our measuring gauge is covered by a three-year replacement warranty. What other manufacturers offer that kind of guarantee? We’ve supplied our products to more than 15,000 customers over the past ten years and we look forward to serving you as well.

Our products are sold and warrantied in the United States and we also offer our customers free shipping. Make sure you look deeper into the FS 502 Powder Coating Thickness Gauge today and save yourself from pricey mistakes down the road.

Contact us today for all of your paint meter gauge needs. We look forward to helping with your next project.

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