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Home / Industrial Coatings Dry Film Thickness Instruments Buying Guide

Industrial Dry Film Thickness Gauges

See our range of (DFT) Dry Film Thickness Gauges and instruments. Metals, non-metals, ferrous/non-ferrous/combo, concrete, fiberglass, wood, and more.

Should you have a special application and need advice, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our customer service.

Dry Film Coating Thickness Instruments

Available For Rent Best Scenarios Benefits Disadvantages Options
Positector 6000 Dry Film Thickness Gauge PosiTector 6000 Yes
  • All Metals
  • Paint Applicators and Contractors
  • Coating Inspectors
  • Highest levels of accuracy over metallic substrates.
  • Large storage capacity for readings
  • Extensive statistical capabilities
  • Interchangeable probes
  • 60+readings per minute
  • Industry leading accuracy
  • IP65 weatherproof case
  • Marginally slower compared to competitive unit
  • Standard Model (1k readings storage)
  • Advanced Model (250k readings storage / 1k
    batches)
  • Smartlink Model
  • Ferrous
  • Non-Ferrous
  • Combination Ferrous/Non-Ferrous
DeFelsko PosiTector 200-B Probe PosiTector 200 No
  • Non-Metals
  • Uses ultrasonic measurement
  • Works on non-metallic substrates.
  • Large storage capacity for readings
  • Statistical capabilities
  • Marginally slower compared to competitive unit
  • Standard Model (1k readings storage)
  • Advanced Model (1k readings / up to 3 individual layer thicknesses)
  • Wood/Plastics
  • Concrete/Fiberglass
  • Polyurea, asphaltic neoprene, thick polymers
  • 3 different probes for different thicknesses of coating
DeFelsko PosiTest DFT F/NF PosiTest DFT F/NF No
  • All Metals
  • Powder Coaters
  • Paint Applicators and Contractors
  • Coating Inspectors
  • Automotive Detailers, Refinishers and Inspectors
  • Economical
  • A quick and simple check on coating thickness
  • Ready to measure, for most applications no adjustment required
  • Not as accurate as PosiTector 6000
  • No internal memory beyond simple averaging function, unable to download results
  • Not compatible with inspection software
  • Ferrous
  • Combination Ferrous/Non-Ferrous
PosiTest PosiTest No
  • Steel Only
  • Magnetic Coating Thickness Gages for Non-Magnetic Coatings on Steel
  • Hot dip galvanizing, hard chrome metalizing, paint, enamel, plastic coatings on steel
  • Electroplating, thin paint films, phosphating on steel
  • Intrinsically safe for explosive environments
  • Low cost
  • Less accurate than electronic gauges
  • Prone to error when reading from a dial rather than digital display
  • Prone to damage when dropped
  • Four Models to choose from
    • PosiTest FM
    • PosiTest F
    • PosiTest GM
    • PosiTest

  Positector 6000 Dry Film Thickness Gauge DeFelsko PosiTector 200-B Probe DeFelsko PosiTest DFT F/NF PosiTest
PosiTector 6000 PosiTector 200 PosiTest DFT PosiTest
Available For Rent Yes No No No
Best Scenarios
  • All Metals
  • Paint Applicators and Contractors
  • Coating Inspectors
  • Non-Metals
  • Uses ultrasonic measurement
  • All Metals
  • Powder Coaters
  • Paint Applicators and Contractors
  • Coating Inspectors
  • Automotive Detailers, Refinishers and
    Inspectors
  • Steel Only
  • Magnetic Coating Thickness Gages for Non-Magnetic Coatings on Steel
  • Hot dip galvanizing, hard chrome metalizing, paint, enamel, plastic coatings on steel
  • Electroplating, thin paint films, phosphating on steel
  • Intrinsically safe for explosive environments
Benefits
  • Highest levels of accuracy over metallic substrates.
  • Large storage capacity for readings
  • Extensive statistical capabilities
  • Interchangeable probes
  • 60+readings per minute
  • Industry leading accuracy
  • IP65 weatherproof case
  • Works on non-metallic substrates.
  • Large storage capacity for readings
  • Statistical capabilities
  • Economical
  • A quick and simple check on coating thickness
  • Ready to measure, for most applications no adjustment required
  • Low cost
Disadvantages
  • Marginally slower compared to competitive unit
  • Marginally slower compared to competitive unit
  • Not as accurate as PosiTector 6000
  • No internal memory beyond simple averaging function, unable to download results
  • Not compatible with inspection soft ware
  • Less accurate than electronic gauges
  • Prone to error when reading from a dial rather than digital display
  • Prone to damage when dropped
Options
  • Standard Model (1k readings storage)
  • Advanced Model (250k readings storage / 1k
    batches)
  • Smartlink Model
  • Ferrous
  • Non-Ferrous
  • Combination Ferrous/Non-Ferrous
  • Standard Model (1k readings storage)
  • Advanced Model (1k readings / up to 3 individual layer thicknesses)
  • Wood/Plastics
  • Concrete/Fiberglass
  • Polyurea, asphaltic neoprene, thick polymers
  • 3 different probes for different thicknesses of coating
  • Ferrous
  • Combination Ferrous/Non-Ferrous
  • Four Models to choose from
    • PosiTest FM
    • PosiTest F
    • PosiTest GM
    • PosiTest G

Available For Rent Best Scenarios Benefits Disadvantages Options
PosiTest PC PosiTest PC No
  • Non-contact Uncured Powder Thickness Gage
  • Ideal for analyzing large areas
  • Up to 4x faster measurement speed*—ideal for moving lines and swinging parts
  • No calibration adjustment required for most powders
  • Storage of 999 readings with onscreen averaging
  • No cable to risk disturbing the applied powder
  • No disadvantages – accurate, fast and easy to use
  • None
PosiPen PosiPen No
  • Magnetic Pull-Off Coating Thickness Gage
  • Refineries, petrochemical plants
  • Platers—electroplating, chrome, zinc, galvanizing
  • Powder coaters
  • Small, hot, or hard-to-reach surfaces
  • Spot Checks—conveniently fits in a shirt pocket
  • Low cost
  • Less accurate than PosiTest
  • Prone to error when reading from a dial rather than digital display.
  • Prone to damage when dropped
  • None

 

  PosiTest PC PosiPen
PosiTest PC PosiPen
Available For Rent No No
Best Scenarios
  • Non-contact Uncured Powder Thickness Gage
  • Ideal for analyzing large areas
  • Magnetic Pull-Off Coating Thickness Gage
  • Refineries, petrochemical plants
  • Platers—electroplating, chrome, zinc, galvanizing
  • Powder coaters
  • Small, hot, or hard-to-reach surfaces
  • Spot Checks—conveniently fits in a shirt pocket
Benefits
  • Up to 4x faster measurement speed*—ideal for moving lines and swinging parts
  • No calibration adjustment required for most powders
  • Storage of 999 readings with onscreen averaging
  • No cable to risk disturbing the applied powder
  • Low cost
Disadvantages
  • No disadvantages – accurate, fast and easy to use
  • Less accurate than PosiTest
  • Prone to error when reading from a dial rather than digital display.
  • Prone to damage when dropped
Options
  • None
  • None

Dry Film Thickness Videos

SSPC DFT PA2 Standards Explained

Measuring Paint Thickness on Steel with the PosiTest FM Magnetic Pull-Off Coating Thickness Gage

DFT Readings Made Easy By Extension Pole

How to Measure Coating Thickness using PosiTector and PosiTest Coating Thickness Gages from DeFelsko

DFT Insights

WHY USE A DFT GAUGE?

An integral component of coating longevity is getting the correct film build. Too low a film build and you risk delamination or insufficient protection from the environment. Too high a film can compromise the bond between coating and substrate. An essential part of a coating inspectors kit is a coating thickness gauge. There is a gauge and probe combination for almost any coating over almost any substrate. Modern dry film thickness gauges not only read the coating thickness, but the more advanced models stores the test readings, analyze and interpret them and allow them to be downloaded.

COMMON ISSUES WITH COATING THICKNESS INSTRUMENTS

Coating thickness gauges range from the very simple touch and go types to sophisticated data collection tools that measure, store and analyze the readings. The advantage of the more simple units is their low cost and simple operation. Their downside is a lesser accuracy than the more sophisticated units and the lack of compliance to the full range of corrosion control standards. Conversely, the more sophisticated units provide accurate data that is in compliance with these standards and feeds into quality assurance systems. Their downside is more complicated operation which requires a higher level of proficiency.

IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS FOR CHOOSING THE RIGHT DFT INSTRUMENT:

Two key questions to be asked when considering purchasing a coating thickness gauge – What level of accuracy and standards compliance do I require? and How competent is the operator who will be using the gauge? Compliance to an international coating thickness standard requested by plant owner and being used by a competent and experienced operator? The DeFelsko Positest 6000 is your gauge. Just doing some quick checks for your own information or bit intimidated by anything too geeky or techish? Select the PosiTest. Another application for the PosiTest is in Hazardous Environments. As the PosiTest is an electronic device it cannot be used in a flammable or explosive atmosphere as there always is the potential for a spark.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • If I buy a new probe do I need to buy a new body as well?

    No, the DeFelsko PosiTector 6000 system has 1 body but accepts a full range of probes. Not only coating thickness (magnetic, eddy current and ultrasonic measurement), but also surface profile, climatic monitoring, soluble chlorides contamination, infra-red temperature,ultrasonic wall thickness, hardness and gloss measurement.

  • What standards do coating thickness gauges conform to?

    The DeFelsko PosiTector 6000 advances is compliant with the widest range of standards -ISO 2178/2360/2808, ISO 19840, ASTM B244/B499/D1186/D1400/D7091/E376/G12, BS3900-C5, SSPC-PA2, US Navy NAVSEA PPI 63101-000, US Navy NAVSEA 009-32, AS 2331.1.4, AS3894.3-B, and others. The PosiTest, ASTM D7091/B499, ISO 2808 and others.

  • What substrates can be measured over using a coating thickness gauge?

    For ferrous (steel) substrates, a magnetic probe can be used. For non-ferrous metallic substrates, a gauge that operates on eddy currents is used. Eddy currents are loops of electrical current induced within conductors by a changing magnetic field in the conductor. For non-metallic substrates, an ultra-sonic probe can be used.
  • What type of coating can be measured?

    Most commonly available coating systems can be measured with a coating thickness gauge using one of the three commonly available technologies discussed above. Metallic filled coatings are not as common as previously, however should you be required to measure the thickness of one of these, a destructive test may be required. These place an angled cut in the cured coating and use trigonometry calculate the coating thickness.

  • What thickness of coating can be measured?

    Ferrous probes can range up to 80 mils/2,000 um. Non-ferrous probes 25 mils/ 625 um. Ultrasonic probes up to 300 mils /7,600 um. Two provisos – when measuring thinner coatings use the probe with the smallest range suitable, it will be more accurate at a lower range; when measuring a thicker coating (over 60 mils/1,500 um) make sure that the probe has an upper limit greater than the target thickness on the specification. It is possible when using the wrong probe to get a measurement and not realize that it is inaccurate.

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