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Getting it Right: How to Use SSPC-PA 2

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

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A large coated area can require hundreds of readings to make sure the dry film thickness is just right.

Knowing just how many measurements to take and what (if any) wiggle room is allowed is the topic of the latest PaintSquare Video Learning Center installment.

"SSPC-PA 2" is the 16th video in the instructional series, which covers multiple aspects of protective coatings work.

Images: KTA-Tator Inc.

"SSPC-PA 2" is the 16th title in the PaintSquare Video Learning Center Series.

Created by KTA-Tator Inc., the video learning series covers a wide range of topics in protective coatings work, from quality-control and health and safety, to basics on the proper use of coatings instruments.

From Lead Detection to Ventilation

The video series also includes:

PaintSquare Video Learning Center

The series of short video tutorials includes "Corrosion Assessment."

Future topics in the series include steel surfaces and moisture testing.

Each installment is available free in the PaintSquare Video Learning Center.

The Three Measurements

In this video (5:04), KTA's William Corbett discusses SSPC-PA 2, "Procedure for Determining Conformance to Dry Coating Thickness Requirements."

First of all, Corbett says, three definitions are critical in understanding coating thickness measurements on structures:

  • Gage reading (a single instrument reading);
  • Spot measurement (the average of at least three gage readings made within a 1.5-inch diameter circle); and
  • Area measurement (the average of five spot measurements obtained over each 100 square feet of a coated surface, or a portion thereof).

How Many Measurements?

"The number of areas that must be measured for coating thickness varies depending on the size of the coated area," Corbett explains.

SSPC-PA 2 specifies three categories of coated areas: less than 300 square feet; 300 to 1,000 square feet; and greater than 1,000 square feet.

Since coated areas often exceed 1,000 square feet, Corbett explains the measurements using a 12,500-square-foot example—a size that would require 15 area measurements, 75 spot measurements and a minimum of 225 gage readings.


"SSPC-PA 2 also provides guidance on the number of spot measurements to take on structural members, like those in a fabrication shop," Corbett notes.

SSPC-PA 2 also provides guidance on whether there is any leeway in determining what coating thickness is acceptable. The most recent version of the standard addresses options in a coating thickness restriction level table.

"SSPC-PA 2 also provides guidance on the number of spot measurements to take on structural members, like those in a fabrication shop," Corbett notes.

Watch "SSPC-PA 2."


Tagged categories: Coating Application; Dry Film Thickness (DFT); Education; KTA-Tator; North America; PaintSquare; Quality control; SSPC PA2; Thickness gauge; Video

Comment from Gordon Kuljian, (11/25/2014, 6:36 PM)

Great summary of PA-2 Bill! In 5 minutes you took a rather complicated concept for those unfamiliar with PA-2 and simplified it to an easily understandable tutorial.

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