Instruction Manual Addendum
(Advanced Models Only)
Image of PosiTector 200

This addendum to the PosiTector 200 instruction manual is intended to provide support for the SSPC-PA 9 feature found in all PosiTector 200 Advanced models with serial numbers greater than 864000.

How to use the PosiTector 200's PA9 mode...

Step 1: Begin a PA9 analysis

Select the Memory option from the gage menu as shown.
Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode memory menu
Next, select the PA9 option from the Memory menu
Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode new PA9 Batch

Step 2: Adjust PA9 parameters as necessary

Review the 6 parameters.

To adjust a parameter use the up and down buttons to move the highlighting bar to the appropriate parameter, then use the (+) and (-) buttons to adjust that parameter.

Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode setup menu
The 6 adjustable parameters are...

MIN:  the specified minimum thickness value for the coating system. If only one target thickness is specified, set the MIN to that value.

Adjust the displayed value down (-) or up (+). Alternatively, measure a coating with a thickness close to the required value and make final adjustments with the buttons.

Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode setup menu—Min input

MAX: the specified maximum thickness value for the coating.

If a maximum thickness value is not specified, set the MAX value to 0.

Adjust the displayed value down (-) or up (+). Alternatively, measure a coating with a thickness close to the required value and make final adjustments with the buttons.

Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode setup menu—Max input

#/spot: the minimum number of individual gage readings required per spot. PA9 suggests a minimum of 3 readings be taken.

Adjust the displayed value down (-) or up (+).

Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode setup menu—#/spot 

spots/batch: the minimum number of spots (sub-batches) required per batch. PA9 suggests a minimum of 5 spots be measured.

Adjust the displayed value down (-) or up (+).

Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode setup menu—spots/batch input

% MIN: PA9 Level 3 specifies that no single spot measurement be less than 80% of the specified MIN thickness. The PosiTector 200 allows this value to be changed if desired.

Adjust the displayed value down (-) or up (+).

Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode setup menu—% min input

% MAX:  PA9 Level 3 specifies that no single spot measurement be more than 120% of the specified MAX thickness. The PosiTector 200 allows this value to be changed if desired.

If the MAX value above has been set to 0, this % calculation is made to the MIN value.

Adjust the displayed value down (-) or up (+).

Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode setup menu—% max input

To accept these values and begin a new PA9 analysis, select NEW. If a PA9 analysis was already begun before entering this set-up, selecting NEW will close/save the existing PA9 batch and begin a new one with a batch name containing the next highest number.

If NEW is selected, a PA9 icon will appear on the gage's display.

Screen capture of the PosiTector 200 PA9 Mode setup menu

Step 3: Take measurements

Begin taking measurements in the first SPOT location. With each measurement the following occurs...

  1. The gage BEEPS twice, and the resultant measurement value is displayed in large numerals at the bottom of the display.
  2. The SPOT information is updated   
    - the number of individual measurements taken in the current spot.
    - the average of all measurements in the spot. This is the PA9 spot measurement value.   
    - a Pass (√) or Fail (X) determination is made for the SPOT based on the user-specified parameters—#/spot, %MIN, %MAX
  3. The BATCH information is updated   
    - the total number of SPOTS in the BATCH   
    - the average of the spot values i.e. the "average of the averages".   
    - a Pass (√) or Fail (X) determination is made for the BATCH based on the user-specified parameters—spots/batch, MIN, MAX.
  4. For more detail select View from the Memory menu to display all individual measurements. The last measurement values are displayed first. Scroll using the up and down buttons.
  5. If all PA9 criteria from Step 2 have been met, the pass symbol (√) will appear in the row above the spots.

Image of a PosiTector 200 SSPC-PA9 mode batch screen with callouts indicating the different elements displayed

Step 4: Change the current SPOT or BATCH location

To move onto the next SPOT, select New Spot from the gage menu. (Shortcut: press "+").

To move onto the next BATCH location (begin a new PA9 analysis) select Memory -> New PA2 -> New from the gage menu.

Step 5: Review results

There are 5 options for reviewing the SSPC PA9 batch results:

1. Download the batch to PosiSoft Desktop.
2. Transfer the batch to the PosiTector App.
3. Upload the batch to PosiSoft.net.
4. View and print the batch using PosiSoft USB Drive.
5. Print the batch report using the optional Bluetooth Printer.

In each of the above options, all SSPC-PA9 batch information is presented: probe serial number, PA9 parameters, batch criteria, Pass/Fail conclusions, and individual measurements with time and date stamp.


  1. Select the Delete option from the Memory submenu to erase a batch.
  2. Select the Close option from the Memory submenu to end the current PA9 analysis but retain all existing batch measurements.
  3. PA9 parameters are unaffected by performing a gage Reset from the Setup menu.
  4. A Hard Reset will delete all PA9 parameters and restore the gage back to factory settings.

The PosiTector 200's PA9 feature is intended to support the PA9 Application Standard, not replace it. It is the responsibility of the user to read and understand the document, and to verify the accuracy of the gage's conclusions.

Image of the AAMP logo

What is SSPC (AAMP)?

The Association for Materials Protection and Performance, AMPP, is the world’s leading organization focused on the protection of assets and performance of materials. AMPP was created when NACE International and SSPC united after more than 145 combined years of corrosion control and protective coatings expertise, and service to members worldwide.

AMPP represents the largest global community of corrosion and protective coatings professionals. Our members are dedicated to advancing technical and practical expertise in corrosion prevention and control. AMPP provides members with the knowledge and resources to ensure high performance materials are used to build and maintain sustainable infrastructure.

AMPP protects infrastructure and assets worldwide through member and workforce education and credentialing, company accreditation, technological innovation, and global standardization.

Overview of the PosiTector 200's PA9 Mode

There are several ways to evaluate film thickness with the PosiTector 200:

  1. Take a single measurement.
  2. Calculate the average of several measurements using the Statistics feature of PosiTector 200's Memory mode.
  3. Analyze a larger area using a statistical approach using the PosiTector 200's PA9 mode.

A large surface usually cannot be characterized accurately by a single measurement. Variations in substrate preparation, painting technique, measuring technique, etc. require an analysis of several measurements taken over a large portion of the surface.

The Statistics feature within the PosiTector 200's Memory mode displays individual measurements AND maintains a running average value. It also displays minimum and maximum values.

What is SSPC-PA9?

The SSPC organization has taken this a step further by developing a specification for coatings applied to nonmetal substrates. Known as PA9, this specification describes the correct method for taking measurements on concrete, wood, composites, and other nonmetals—determining the number of measurements and whether the DFT of the coating meets project specifications.

PA9 helps determine if film thickness over an extended area conforms to user-specified minimum and maximum levels.

It recommends that a coated surface be sectioned into one or more large test areas. A minimum of 15 individual measurements are taken in 5 groups of 3 measurements each. Suggestions are made as to the acceptability of individual measurements, spot measurements (the average of each group), and the calculated average of the spot measurements. In simple terms, PA9 suggests the average of a series of average values be used to determine if a target thickness has been met.

Repeated gage readings, even at points close together, often differ due to small surface irregularities of the coating and the substrate. Therefore PA9 suggests a minimum of three (3) individual gage readings be taken for each spot measurement of the coating. These readings are to be taken within a 15 cm (6 inch) diameter circle.

SSPC-PA9 Example

Image illustrating the number of measurements per location to be taken with the PosiTector 200 in SSPC-PA9 mode.

Advanced models of the PosiTector 200 have a PA9 mode that helps the user collect measurements in conformance with the PA9 standard. Then, based on user-set parameters that include the target thickness, the gage indicates a pass or fail condition.

How does the gage do this?

The PosiTector 200 has on-board memory into which all measurements are stored. Individual measurements are grouped into spots (sub-batches). A series of spots are grouped into batches. The film thickness result obtained from each batch, the "average of the averages", is taken to be the representative film thickness over the defined area.

The gage continually monitors thickness results and reports a pass/fail condition on the current spot and on the batch (area) as a whole.

Related Documents:

ASTM D6132—“Standard Test Method for Nondestructive Measurement of Dry Film Thickness of Applied Organic Coatings Using an Ultrasonic coating Thickness Gage”

ISO 2808—“Paints and varnishes – Determination of film thickness”


Is it possible for all the spots to PASS but for the batch to FAIL?

Yes. The pass/fail criteria for a spot is less stringent than for a batch. PA9 allows spot values to under run the target thickness by as much as 20%. The batch value cannot.

Is it possible to change PASS/FAIL criteria after all measurements have been taken?

No. Once the PA9 criteria has been set, the parameters cannot be altered. Select a New PA9, enter the desired criteria and repeat the measurements. 

Can I delete a bad measurement?

Yes. Use the (-) button to delete the last measurement taken. Use the View menu option to delete any measurement, spot, or batch. Use the Delete menu option to delete spots, batches or the entire contents of memory.

Must I specify both a minimum and a maximum thickness?

With many of the coatings used today it is a good practice to specify both. This range is usually obtained from the coating manufacturer's technical data sheet. But economic factors along with flow characteristics of the coating usually control excessive film build, so it is common to specify only a minimum thickness. When only a single target value is available, set the MIN to that value and set the MAX to 0.