There are a few considerations in choosing the correct Elcometer Coating Thickness Gauge / instrument:
1. Is your application on a wet or dry coating. If it is a wet coating this will be covered in a future article
2. Is your coating on a metallic or non metallic substrate. If it is a non metallic substrate such as wood, plaster, concrete, plastic, rubber or similar then I will cover that in a future article
If your application is a dry film coating thickness on a metal substrate then the following questions will pinpoint the correct unit for you.
1. Is your application in a blasting environment where the substrate is rough or will the application be on a smooth substrate such as in an automotive or hybrid epoxy polyester powder coating environment. If your application is a rough surface then proceed to the next question. We will cover the smooth application in a future article.
2. Are you measuring on Ferrous eg Steel, Non Ferrous eg Aluminium or on both. This would determine whether you require an F, NF or FNF unit.
3. Do you require the instrument to download to a computer. If the answer is no then a Basic Model ie B will suffice while if the answer is yes then you have the choice between: Standard unit - download 1,500 readings in 1 batch or the Top unit - download up to 150,000 readings in up to 2,500 batches. The ElcoMaster 2.0 software has just been launched and comes free with the Standard and Top models.
4. Do you require an integral ie I or a separate probe ie S model. An Integral probe is part of the unit and is the more popular model with its one handed operation and its increased robustness. The Separate probe model is better for more difficult to access areas or for smaller areas where you also have the option of Right Angle, Telescopic and Miniature probes. You would also be able to use the new Elcometer scan probe if you went for a separate probe option (scan mode only with T model). 5. What thickness are you measuring? The Scale 1 measures up to 1500 microns, the Scale 2 up to 5mm (5,000 microns) and the Scale 3 up to 13mm. There are also probes that measure up to 30mm. The scan probe also has a Scale 2 probe which can measure to approximately 5mm.