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How Magnetic Induction Method Measure Powder Coating Thickness

September 6, 2019

Although powder coating guns meticulously apply thin films of air-driven particles, that feature is rarely blindly accepted. Certainly, if the company in question is targeting a quality-assurance certification, they're not just going to coat a workpiece and send it straight to the curing oven, no questions asked. No, as part of that QA program, the protective sheathing has to be thickness-audited, and this skin verification check must be professionally conducted.

Magnetic Induction Measurement

There's more than one way to judge the thickness of the powder-coated film, of course. Comb gauges physically touch the uncured powder after it has been applied. Moved perpendicularly along a coated surface, the "Mils" scale measures the thickness. Ultrasonics, eddy currents and more, there's a whole sub-category dedicated to checking coating uniformity. With magnetic induction instruments, the same principles apply, although they're practised in a much finer manner. For one thing, since the instruments measure invisible magnetic fields, there's no need for any contact between the measuring device and the material substrate. That, once again, is a fine feature to have on-hand when working as a pro-level powder coating outfit.

How Does The Technology Work?

Underneath the coating, a ferrous mass is likely supporting the coating. On utilizing a magnetic induction measurement meter, changes in field flux density are recorded in that ferrous material. As the device probe moves over a workpiece, those field fluctuations are electronically recorded and sent to an easy to read digital display. That readout pops up on an LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) as a varying line or as a multi-digit measurement. The more expensive the electronic gadget, the more display options and features become available. Generally, though, these testers are accurate and loaded with quality assurance-flavoured features. Easy to run, the constant pressure probe shows in real-time just how consistently thick a powder coating has been applied, all without ever disturbing the electrostatically adhered substrate layer. Better yet, the results can be stored and used as part of an in-house system audit.

In the old days, comb gauges and other unremarkable contact-based testing methods were good enough. That old "good enough approach" is no longer enough. Powder coating technology is everywhere, and high-tolerance coating measurement consistency is more important than ever before. To absolutely guarantee substrate thickness uniformity, electronic powder coating thickness testing has adapted to deliver a more refined range of quality gauging tools. In summary, contactless magnetic induction technology uses flux density changes to precisely gauge powder coating thickness. The probe electronically records the data, displays it in real-time, or it's stored so the information can be used to run a process audit.

GP Industries Pty Ltd

Head Office

1 Regal Court,
Vermont South VIC 3133

Phone: (03) 9802 1355

Fax: (03) 9802 6027

Email: gp_ind@bigpond.com

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Factory G,
20 Burgess Road,
Bayswater North VIC 3153

Phone: (03) 9761 7676

Fax: (03) 9761 7671

Email: gpfactory@bigpond.com

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