Film thickness plays a very important role in the production of a large range of items, and while there are a variety of different measurement tools designed to give you a precise assessment, understanding how to use items such as wet film gauges can be essential to ensuring the quality of the applied coating.
What Is a Wet Film Gauge Designed for?
Wet film gauges are the most widespread measurement tools used for gaining accurate and clear results when it comes to measuring the thickness of various coatings – such as resins, paint, gel coat and so on – right after they have been applied to any particular surface. Also known as step gauges or notch gauges, they basically feature a set of steel notches “carved” similarly to the teeth of a comb and presenting varying lengths measured in MILS. To give you an idea of how accurate the measurement can be, one MIL is .001 inches (about 25.1 micrometers).
Using Wet Film Gauges
It is extremely easy to use a wet film gauge for measuring the thickness of various coatings. All you have to do is follow the steps mentioned here:
- First of all, the gauge has to be placed at a 90 degree angle and pushed to penetrate the surface of the coated substance until the toothed side of the gauge makes firm contact with the substrate.
- After that, in order for a valid assessment to be made, a period of a few seconds must pass until the measuring teeth become wet with the coating.
- The gauge can then be withdrawn from the coating, and by viewing which of the teeth are wet and which of them remain dry, the thickness can easily be determined.
The value of the thickness will simply be somewhere between the longest dry tooth and the smallest wet one. So, for example, if you have a gauge that can measure any thickness between 2 and 10 MILS and the 6 MIL tooth is still wet while the 8 MIL one is dry then the thickness will be 6 to 8 MILS. While these types of gauges are widely available, their accuracy is of extreme importance. One of the places where you can easily find step gauges is ElektroPhysik USA, a manufacturer of high precision stainless steel gauges designed for measuring coatings of a wide variety of types and thicknesses. When you want to measure film thickness, don't forget to check out their offers.