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Eddy current techniques are used to nondestructively measure the thickness of nonconductive coatings on nonferrous metal substrates. A coil of fine wire conducting a high-frequency alternating current (above 1 MHz) is used to set up an alternating magnetic field at the surface of the instrument's probe. When the probe is brought near a conductive surface, the alternating magnetic field will set up eddy currents on the surface. The substrate characteristics and the distance of the probe from the substrate (the coating thickness) affect the magnitude of the eddy currents. The eddy currents create their own opposing electromagnetic field that can be sensed by the exciting coil or by a second, adjacent coil.
Magnetic film gages are used to non-destructively measure the thickness of a nonmagnetic coating on ferrous substrates. Most coatings on steel and iron are measured this way. Magnetic gages use one of two principles of operation: magnetic pull-off or magnetic/electromagnetic induction.
Magnetic pull-off gages use a permanent magnet, a calibrated spring, and a graduated scale. The attraction between the magnet and magnetic steel pulls the two together. As the coating thickness separating the two increases, it becomes easier to pull the magnet away. Coating thickness is determined by measuring this pull-off force. Thinner coatings will have stronger magnetic attraction while thicker films will have comparatively less magnetic attraction. Testing with magnetic gages is sensitive to surface roughness, curvature, substrate thickness, and the make up of the metal alloy.
Magnetic induction instruments use a permanent magnet as the source of the magnetic field. A Hall-effect generator or magneto-resistor is used to sense the magnetic flux density at a pole of the magnet. Electromagnetic induction instruments use an alternating magnetic field. A soft, ferromagnetic rod wound with a coil of fine wire is used to produce a magnetic field. A second coil of wire is used to detect changes in magnetic flux.
These electronic instruments measure the change in magnetic flux density at the surface of a magnetic probe as it nears a steel surface. The magnitude of the flux density at the probe surface is directly related to the distance from the steel substrate. By measuring flux density the coating thickness can be determined.
PosiTector users can capture and save an image copy of the current gage display by simultaneously pressing both the (-) and (+) buttons. 100 screen captures are stored in memory and can be accessed within the PosiSoft USB Drive.
Statistics mode continually displays/updates average, standard deviation, min/max thickness and number of readings while measuring.
Display Languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Dutch, Portuguese, Italian, Norwegian, Russian, Czech, Polish, and Turkish.
PosiTector SmartLink and free mobile app turns your cell phone or tablet into a virtual PosiTector gage.
Wirelessly connect PosiTector probes to your Apple iOS or Android smart device.
For more information about the PosiTector SmartLink, click here.
Powerful desktop software for downloading, viewing, printing and storing measurement data. No internet connection required.
The intuitive and familiar user interface of PosiSoft Desktop brought to your web browser. Data is securely stored in the cloud.Learn More
An easy-to-use mobile app (iOS/ Android) that connects to your PosiTector Advanced, PosiTector Smartlink, or PosiTest AT-A.Learn More
A simple gage interface to retrieve data in a manner similar to a flash drive. No software to install or internet connection required.Learn More
From wired USB to WiFi wireless technology, DeFelsko instruments offer data management solutions for even the most advanced software integrations. Accessing your stored or live streaming data is simpler and more flexible than ever before. PosiTector and PosiTest AT-A instruments have the ability to integrate with third-party software, drones, ROVs, PLCs, and robotic devices using several industry-standard communication protocols.
PosiTector 6000 paint meters arrive fully calibrated and include a Long-Form Certificate of Calibration traceable to NIST or PTB. The Certificate of Calibration documents actual readings taken by your instrument at our calibration laboratory, on standards traceable to a national metrology institute. Beware of ‘Certificates’ or ‘Certificates of Conformance’ offered by competitors. These typically do not include actual instrument readings, and are often insufficient to meet common quality requirements.
The innovative probe technology and factory calibration in the PosiTector 6000 means that it arrives ready-to-measure — usually there is no need to perform a two-point calibration adjustment. Ruby or alumina probe tips on standard probe models eliminate wear, meaning that the factory calibration is maintained throughout the lifetime of the probe. Whether out of the box or after years of use, the PosiTector 6000 Paint Thickness Gauge will continue to provide accurate results.
For highest confidence and best measurement accuracy, observe our “golden rule” — simply check ZERO (or the known thickness of a shim) on the uncoated part, adjust if necessary, and then measure the coated part. This ensures that the probe is properly adjusted for substrate characteristics including mass, metallurgy, curvature, temperature and roughness.
No. Our instruments are designed for simple operation, feature easy-to-use menus, instruction manuals, and helpful videos. In lieu of demonstration models, we provide unlimited technical support via telephone and/or email, and a limited 30-day money back guarantee.
PosiTector 6000 paint thickness probes include a Certificate of Calibration with no expiry or end date. They have no shelf life, therefore the length of time in the field is not a good indicator for recalibration intervals. Many organizations with quality programs and recertification programs require annual recalibrations, and this is a good starting point for most users. DeFelsko recommends that customers establish calibration intervals based upon their own experience and work environment. Based on our product knowledge, data and customer feedback, a one year calibration interval from the date the instrument was placed in service is a good starting point.
PosiTector 6000 paint thickness probes have different capabilities depending on the model.
All coating thickness gages are influenced to some degree by substrate roughness, as shown in the below image. It is generally accepted that paint thickness should be measured from the highest ‘peaks’ in the rough surface thus ensuring they are covered by the protective coating. However, coating thickness gages will instead measure the coating thickness from the ‘effective magnetic plane’, which is located somewhere between the highest peaks and deepest valleys of the profile.
ASTM D7091, ISO 19840, and SSPC-PA 2 propose several similar solutions depending upon the instrument type and the particular situation. One option is to verify the paint meter reads zero on the uncoated steel substrate, and adjust to zero if necessary. This is a popular solution when the metal surface is smooth.
Since it is difficult to ensure that the probe tip is sitting on the highest peaks of the surface profile, the preferred option is to place a plastic shim of a known thickness that is close to the expected thickness of the applied coating between the probe and substrate and adjust to the stated thickness of the shim- referred to as a 1-point adjustment. The plastic shim sits on the peaks of the surface profile over a greater area than the probe tip, ensuring that the adjustment is being taken ‘over the peaks’. This best simulates a coating covering the peaks of the surface profile.
If access to the bare substrate is not possible, another option is to use the PosiTector Zero Offset feature in accordance with ISO 19840. The Zero Offset adjustment is useful when measuring paint and coating thickness over rough or blasted substrates without access to the uncoated representative substrate. Predefined Zero Offset values can be selected according to the blast profile height. Alternatively, a custom Zero Offset can be entered.
"Stainless steel" is a term used to generally categorize a wide variety of corrosion and heat-resistant alloys. In specific terms of metallurgy, a “stainless steel” is any iron-based alloy containing a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. Some stainless steel alloys have a relatively low magnetic response (often called “partially/weakly magnetic”). Others have no magnetic response whatsoever, and some possess a ferromagnetic response similar to carbon steel.
The PosiTector 6000 Coating Thickness Gauge is uniquely able to measure partially magnetic stainless steel alloys, an application that is challenging for many competitive instruments. PosiTector 6000 FN (combination ferrous/non-ferrous) probe models can often measure consistently on partially magnetic substrates with a simple Zero adjustment. For more challenging applications, the “N-Lock” measurement mode permits accurate measurement of non-conductive coatings applied to partially magnetic substrates.
For more information, read How to Measure Coatings on Stainless Steel.
The PosiTector 6000 FXS and FHXS Xtreme probes are ideal for measuring coating thickness on hot and/or rough surfaces (250°C, 500°F maximum). All PosiTector 6000 coating thickness probes are capable of measuring on hot surfaces. Standard probe models can operate at environments up to 50˚C (120˚F). However, if the probe is lifted clear of the surface as soon as a reading is taken and is allowed to cool, thickness measurements can be taken at higher temperatures. Simply ensure that the probe remains at a temperature of less than 50˚C (120˚F), and cool enough to handle with an unprotected hand.
To ensure a part’s dimensions are suitable for a PosiTector 6000 probe, simply check ZERO on the uncoated part and adjust if necessary. Verify accuracy by measuring a plastic shim placed on the uncoated part. If the measurement is within the combined tolerances of the shim and probe, the probe is suitable for measuring the coated part.
While the PosiTector gage body and probe connector are not suitable for immersion in water, PosiTector 6000 regular cabled probes are hermetically sealed and ideal for underwater use. Extended cables are available (up to 75 m/250 ft) for underwater or remote measuring.
Yes, but it depends upon the particular type of nickel coating that has been applied to the steel.
The coating thickness measurement range of the PosiTector 6000 paint meter is dependent on which interchangeable probe is attached. PosiTector 6000 probes are available for measuring a wide variety of coating thickness applications. For example, the PosiTector 6000 FN probe can measure coating thicknesses up to 1500 um (60 mils), while the PosiTector 6000 FNGS probe measures coatings up to 63.5 mm (2.5 inches) thick. No matter your application, DeFelsko likely has a measuring solution to satisfy your requirement.
A mil, also known as a Thou, is equal to 1 one-thousandth of an inch (25.4 microns).
A micron, sometimes called a micrometer, is equal to one-millionth of a meter or one-thousandth of a millimeter (~0.000039").