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Time is money and the ability to speed up the process of taking and analyzing coating thickness readings will always pay dividends in reducing inspection costs. Scanning an area of painted steel will always be quicker than taking individual readings but there was always the danger of wearing the probe and reducing its life.
There are now probes fitted with a replaceable wearing surface to protect the probe from abrasion wear when using the probe to scan a surface. Simple plastic caps can be fitted to these probes and the thickness of the cap can be taken in to account in the calibration procedure.
Gauge firmware has also been developed to allow the data generated by the scan to be processed and analyzed to produce either an average value for the thickness in the area together with a highest and lowest reading (scan mode), or to produce a batch of individual readings at the rate of 140 reading/minute (auto repeat mode). This firmware is supported by Data Management Software to automate the presentation of the results in reports. This paper describes the scanning probes and their use and describes how coating thickness data can be collected for analysis using the method described in SSPC-PA 2 for determining conformance to dry coating thickness requirements.