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How to Use SSPC-PA2 Mode for Measuring Coating Thickness with the PosiTector 6000

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Coating thickness measurement is an essential step in determining whether a coating system will perform to specifications. Color, gloss, adhesion, impact resistance, and other factors are all affected by paint or coating thickness.

The PosiTector 6000 Coating Thickness Gage for all Metal Substrates is the Simple, Durable, and Accurate way to measure coating thickness.

When measuring paint thickness, it is important never to rely on a single reading. DFT, or dry film thickness often varies across the surface, even at locations close to one another.

A statistical approach such as SSPC-PA2 is often specified to determine whether there is sufficient coating thickness to meet specifications. PA2 mode on the PosiTector 6000 Advanced makes the process easy by performing all necessary calculations on the gage and creating pre-formatted reports with all required measurement data. Be sure to fully read and understand the SSPC-PA 2 document prior to inspection.

Begin by dividing the inspection area into one hundred square foot areas. Depending on the size of the area, some or all of the one hundred square foot areas are measured.

For each one hundred square foot area being measured, take at least three readings in a one and a half inch diameter circle and average together—this is referred to as a “spot” measurement. This process is repeated five times and the average of the five spot measurements is calculated to determine the area measurement. The spot and area measurements are then compared to the acceptance criteria in the SSPC-PA 2 document.

Performed manually, the process can be confusing and requires several manual calculations. Using the SSPC-PA 2 mode included with PosiTector 6000 Advanced models, an SSPC-PA 2 inspection is easy.  

First, ensure that the instrument is verified and adjusted for the substrate geometry. To learn more about getting started with the PosiTector 6000, view the video linked in the description.

  1. Once the instrument is ready to measure, select “Memory” and then “NEW PA2” from the gage menu
  2. Six parameters are displayed. The minimum and maximum coating thickness should be set according to project specifications. The number of readings per spot and the number of spots per batch default to three and five respectively, as specified in SSPC-PA2. The percent minimum and percent maximum options determine the allowable limits for each spot reading, and are pre-set to the default level three restriction level, but can be modified according to project specifications and Table 1 of SSPC-PA 2.
    Once all of the parameters are set, select “NEW” to create a batch.  
  3. Select the first “Spot” location and begin taking measurements.
  4. Once the required readings for the first spot are taken, press the “+” button to move on to the next spot. A “check-mark” or “X” will indicate whether the spot measurement passed or failed based on user specifications.
    a) Repeat this process until all required spot measurements have been taken. When all of the necessary readings have been taken, a “Batch Complete” message will appear.
    b) Review the display to ensure that each spot and area measurement are accompanied by a green checkmark, indicating that the criteria are met.
    c) To measure the next one hundred square foot area, select “Memory” and then “NEW PA2” from the gage menu. Once all areas have been measured, select “Memory” and then, “Close” from the gage menu.

To save even more time, Scan mode can be used to quickly capture spot measurements. After a PA2 batch has been created, enter the gage menu and select “Setup”, “Scan”, and choose the “Normal” Scan mode. Instead of lifting the probe between each individual reading, hold the probe down and move it in a circle to quickly capture all three spot readings. Using PA2 mode and Scan mode together, each area can be measured in seconds.

Once measurements have been saved, PosiSoft software makes it easy to manage data and create professional, custom reports. Simply connect your gage via USB or WiFi, to quickly import your readings, and save a PDF report. All information required by SSPC-PA2 is presented, including gage serial number, PA2 parameters, individual measurements with date and time stamp, calculated averages, and Pass/Fail conclusions.

Learn more about PosiSoft Software in the, “How to use PosiSoft Software for Better Coating Inspection” video.

Statistical approaches such as SSPC-PA2 provide more meaningful inspection data and are often required by job specifications and contracts.

The PosiTector 6000 Advanced coating thickness gage is the simple, durable, and accurate solution for DFT measurement on all metal substrates and is ideal for complying with SSPC-PA 2. Backed by DeFelsko’s renowned quality, customer service, and exceptional two-year warranty, the PosiTector 6000 is the ideal choice for coating thickness measurement.

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