Dry Film Thickness Gauge, Destructive

Last updated: November 5, 2018

What Does Dry Film Thickness Gauge, Destructive Mean?

Dry film thickness gauge, destructive is a measuring tool used to determine dry film thickness by cutting and removing a cross section, making a precise v-groove or geometric cut on the coating and then measuring it with a scaled microscope. The actual thickness of the cross section sample can also be measured by a micrometer.

Some destructive dry film thickness gauges feature a special v-groove cutting tool and illuminated magnifier to improve the accuracy of preparing the destructive measurement sample.


Corrosionpedia Explains Dry Film Thickness Gauge, Destructive

Using a dry film thickness gauge, destructive requires repairs to the damaged sample areas but the method is considered appropriate in the following instances:

  • Non-destructive methods for thickness measurement are not possible or electronic gauges are not available or cannot be used.
  • The coating is over wood, plastic, concrete or other non-magnetic substrates where most non-destructive dry film thickness gauges can’t be used. The destructive thickness measurement method is applicable for coatings over almost all substrates.
  • To measure individual coating thickness in a multi-layer coating.
  • To verify or validate the result from a non-destructive dry film thickness gauge.

Commonly used destructive measurement methods are described in the following documents:

  • ASTM D4138, Standard Practices for Measurement of Dry-Film Thickness of Protective Coating Systems by Destructive Cross-Section Means.
  • ASTM D1005, Standard Test Method for Measurement of Dry-Film Thickness of Organic Coatings Using Micrometers, Procedure D.

The destructive measurement method is generally used only as a last resort. Its accuracy is reduced by human errors in sample preparation and measurement reading.


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