How to halve inspection times using the Elcometer 456 Scan Probe
The Elcometer 456 Coating Thickness Gauge Scan Probe has been designed with a highly durable replaceable cap to eradicate probe wear and allow scanning of large surface areas - increasing coating thickness measurement speed from 70 readings per minute to greater than 140 readings per minute.
Dry film thickness measurement speed is important, even when only a small number of readings need to be taken at any one location.
When inspecting painted or coated surfaces to ensure compliance with the specification, it is important that the thickness testing is carried out quickly and accurately. If rework is required, it needs to be accomplished in a manner that does not excessively delay the completion of the process.
If an inspector can simply scan the surface without the need to lift the probe off the coating, then the measurement speed can be significantly increased.
The Elcometer 456 Scan Probe designed for the Elcometer 456 Coating Thickness Gauge, when in Auto Repeat Mode, remains in contact with the coated surface all the time and can therefore take in excess of 140 accurate, repeatable and reproducible readings every minute.
The Elcometer 456 Coating Thickness Gauge has a number of measurement modes available.
Standard Measurement Mode
The Scan Probe can take individual coating thickness readings, giving a measurement rate of 70 readings per minute.
Auto Repeat Mode
In Auto Repeat Mode, the Scan Probe can be slid across the coated surface, taking more than 2 coating thickness measurements every second. Coating thickness readings can be stored individually into the gauge’s memory batch, providing significantly more information about the coating’s thickness in the same time frame.
When Counted Average Mode is used with the Auto Repeat Mode, the number of individual gauge readings that can be taken within a spot measurement can be defined. This allows the gauge to store the average of the individual readings as a single spot measurement.
When the Auto Repeat and Counted Average Modes are combined with the Fixed Batch feature (where the maximum number of readings in each batch can be defined and, once reached, the gauge automatically opens a new linked batch), inspection according to SSPC PA2 is both automatic and significantly faster than other methods.
When the average, highest and lowest values are required, Scan Mode is the ideal measurement mode. Scan Mode allows the Elcometer 456 Scan Probe to slide across the coated substrate, taking over 140 readings per minute.
Whilst scanning, the gauge displays the actual dry film thickness and identifies if an area is outside pre-defined tolerances (the reading displayed as red).
When the scan is complete, the gauge displays and records into memory the average, highest and lowest thickness values for the entire scan. Inspectors can simply scan along the coated substrate and, when the probe is lifted, see the key parameters on screen (average, highest and lowest readings) instantly.
The recent study by the US Navy’s National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP) found that by using the features of the Elcometer 456 Coating Thickness Gauge, coating thickness measurement was more than 3 times faster than their current dry film thickness methods.
Click here to view the NSRP Report – “Reducing inspection costs using the latest digital inspection tools”.