Measuring Protective Coatings in Accordance with SSPC-PA2

Coating thickness measurement is of growing importance in the paint and corrosion protection industry, as is conformance to regulations and standards like SSPC-PA2, a specification that describes procedures to measure the thickness of a dry film (DFT).

As the useful life expectancies for structures such as bridges, ships, pipelines and water tanks have increased, detailed inspections during or after the paint application process have become the norm. SSPC-PA2 provides a uniform way for industrial painting contractors, facility owners and third party inspectors to evaluate these coating projects.

According to SSPC-PA2, a gauge measurement is a single instrument reading, spot measurements are typically the mean of three gauge measurements within a 4 cm (1.5 inch) diameter circle, and area results may comprise the mean of five spot measurements. The frequency of measurements is determined by the size of the structure: If less than 300 square feet (~28 m²), a measurement is taken every 100 square feet (~10 m²). If the structure is between 300 and 1000 square feet (~28 and 100 m²), one arbitrarily selects three random test areas of 100 square feet (~10 m²) and measures.

Fig. 1: Coating Thickness measurement with DUALSCOPE® FMP100

All FISCHER handheld gauges comply with SSPC-PA2. Even the entry level MP0 Series quickly calculates spot mean values. Standard units such as the MP0R have the built in specification to automatically sequence spot mean values while simultaneously monitoring the minimum and maximum readings. In addition, the user is alerted if spot measurements are less than 80% or more than 120% of the specified thickness. In the case of the DUALSCOPE® FMP100, a complete inspection plan with images can be created to guide the user to the location of each measurement.

Selecting the appropriate probe for the application greatly enhances adherence to tolerances, and FISCHER offers various models of gauges, either with integrated probes or gauges able to accommodate multiple separate probes designed for specific measurement challenges.

Your local contact person for FISCHER products will gladly assist you in selecting a suitable handheld coating thickness instrument from the MP0/MP0R or FMP Series for measuring in accordance with SSPC-PA2. FISCHER is a contributor to the Society of Protective Coatings (SSPC) and a member of the SSPC-PA2 committee.

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