Inspection and Testing Tools

Surface Profile Gauges are used to measure the profile height of a surface. The degree of the surface profile on the surface affects a coating’s overall performance and determines aspects such as adhesion, coverage and overall volume of coatings used. If the surface profile is too large the amount of coating required increases, otherwise there is a danger that the peaks remain uncoated - allowing rust spots to occur. If the surface profile is too small there may be insufficient key for adequate adhesion leading to premature coating failure.

To ensure the correct surface preparation optimizes the performance of the coating and material usage, the

profile height of a surface needs to be accurately assessed and measured. It is essential to know this parameter as it determines the adhesion, coverage and overall volume of coating used.

There are a wide range of digital and mechanical Surface Profile Gages, Surface Roughness Testers, Surface Comparators and Testex Tapes, for surface profile testing or for surface roughness testing. A Surface Profile Gage helps to record and access the value from the top of the peak to the bottom of the valley measuring the profile height of a surface. A Surface Roughness Tester records and measures the roughness over a specified distance, recording peak-to-valley average. A Surface Comparator is used as a very quick guide to compare freshly blasted profiles to pre-defined profiles. The standard Surface Comparators are available as either grit, shot or sand. A Surface Profile Replica Tape (Testex Tape) is used to compress against a roughened material to replicate details of its surface roughness and is then used with a Thickness Gauge to measure the peak-to-valley height of a surface profile.

Surface Profile Gauges

224 Digital Surface Profile Gauge:

The Elcometer 224 separate profile gauge provides the very latest in surface profile measuring technology. Standard and armored probes are available for the separate models, providing even greater measurement flexibility. Accurate, fast and very user friendly, this gauge is available with Bluetooth® and with or without memory. The Elcometer 224 Top model is available with wireless technology and can store up to 150,000 readings in 2,500 batches.

The Elcometer 224 is available in two different models: Model B and Model T. Each gauge provides the user with increasing functionality - from the entry level Elcometer 224 Model B, to the top of the range Elcometer 224 Model T, with memory, alpha-numeric batching and Bluetooth® communication.

Elcometer surface profile probes are supplied with a glass zero plate, calibration test foils (nominal values 125µm (5.0mils) & 508µm (20mils) and an Elcometer Test Certificate.

Replica/Testex Press-O-Film Tape:

Testex Press-O-Film Tape consists of foam with a non-compressible backing. The foam side is rubbed into the surface providing a permanent mould of the peak-to-valley profile, which can then be measured using the Thickness Gauge.

Testex Press-O-Film Tape is available in three profile ranges. It is important that the tape grade chosen is reflective of the profile being measured, as using tape grade below the actual value may provide a "false" reading. There are 50 tests in each roll.

  • Coarse© for 20-38µm (0.8-1.5mils) profiles
  • X-Coarse (XC) 64-115µm (2.5-4.5mils), and
  • X-Coarse plus (XC+) for profiles between 115-127µm (4.5-5.0mils)
  • The Thickness Gauge is used to measure the peak-to-valley height of a surface profile moulded in the Testex Press-O-Film Replica Tape.

    Surface Profile Comparators

    If you want to quickly assess the surface profile of blasted profiles or predefined profiles, surface profile comparators are the best option for you. They are easily transportable and very easy to use.

    We have a range of surface comparators which are used to compare the freshly blasted profiles to pre-defined profiles and it comes with different measurements. Some surface comparators have a hole in the middle which allows the comparator to be placed on the surface to be assessed so that the comparator and the surface are visible together – enabling clear visual comparisons with reference profiles.

      The Elcometer 125 Surface Comparator has four reference profile grades to measure the profile of either grit or shot and is measured in microns.

      The Elcometer 127 Keane-Tator Surface Comparators & Magnifier are available in sand, shot or grit surface profiles and is measured in mils. Each comparator is supplied with 5 profile grades ranging from 0.5 – 5.5 mils and is designed for use with the illuminated magnifier to assist with the visual comparison.

      The Elcometer 129 Rubert & Rugotest Surface Comparators are available in two models. The Elcometer 129 Rubert is available in grit and shot versions and the Elcometer 129 Rugotest is available with the shot and grit profiles in the same block.

    Surface Roughness Testers

    The Elcometer 7061 is a surface roughness tester that is light weight and portable measuring solution for the range of surface roughness measurements required for compliance to International Standards. Not only it measures the peak-to-valley height but also gives you the frequency of peaks encountered on a sample area. A wide range of stylus pick-ups and accessories are also available from Elcometer to suit all your inspection needs.

    Shot Peening Testing:

    Almen strips are a thin strip of SAE 1070 steel used to quantify the intensity of a shot peening process. The strip is placed in the chamber in place of the item to be shot peened, usually near to an area of the item where the result is deemed critical, sometimes located by a special fixture. Compressive stress introduced by the peening operation causes the strip to deform into an arch, which is measured using a gauge.

    Almen strips are classified into 3 types: 'A', 'N', and 'C'. They differ in their thickness, while they have the same width and length. * Almen strip of "A" type is predominantly used for shot peening with cast shot or cut wire shot. * "N" type strips are used usually for glass bead peen and ceramic bead peen. * "C" type almen strips are used more rarely and are thicker than the other types. The generic requirements can be found in SAE specifications.