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  Defelsko PosiTest  DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge Measures the paint thickness on all metals, including steel and aluminum
Defelsko PosiTest  DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge  Measures the paint thickness on all metals, including steel and aluminum


 
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Defelsko PosiTest  DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge
Measures the paint thickness on all metals, including steel and aluminum


 
     
The Defelsko Paint Gauge

PosiTest DFT Combo

 

The ultimate Paint Thickness Gage helps you escalate your business to the next level. Show everyone how professional you really are.

This lightweight and versatile unit automatically measures coatings on any metal even aluminum.

DeFelsko manufactures hand-held, non-destructive coating thickness gauges that are ideal for use by automotive paint detailers. They enable full service detailers to quantitatively measure and control the amount of clear coat removed when sanding and buffing automotive paints. Manufactured in the USA to the highest quality standard.


The Defelsko PosiTest  DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge measures the paint thickness on all metals, including steel and aluminum.

  • Detailers, enthusiast, body shops, OEM dealership, auto manufacturers all use the Defelsko PosiTest DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge to determine the depth of paint.
 
 
The Defelsko Paint Gauge
     

PosiTest DFT Combo


Measures paint on ANY METAL including steel and aluminum. A popular choice given many cars have both steel and aluminum. It automatically recognizes the material and takes a measurement.

  The Defelsko Paint Gauge
     
     

 

The Defelsko Paint Gauge  

DeFelsko has been making coating thickness gauges and inspection instruments since 1966. DeFelsko is family owned and operated in Northern New York, where they produce state-of-the-art, simple paint thickness gauges for auto and industrial applications. Their ultrasonic detection technology is non-destructive and automatic with accurate, easy-to-read measurements. The DeFelsko PosiTest DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge will help you make informed decisions when buying, repairing, or refinishing a vehicle. Never attend a car auction or body shop without it!

The PosiTest DFT is the economical and most common solution for measuring on exterior metal automobile panels.


  a. The PosiTest DFT-Ferrous for steel panels.
  b. The PosiTest DFT-Combo for both steel and aluminum panels.

     
     

Ideal for Automobile...

  • Dealerships, Professional Car Buyers, Appraisers, Inspectors, Painters, Detailers, Body Shops, and more...

Uses:

  • Identify repainted panels and all previous refinish work
  • Buff with precision and confidence. Locate where extra work is needed
  • Improve finish consistency and quality
  • Cut expensive paint materials and costs
  • Show customers where more paint stripping or re-clearcoating is needed
  • Determine depth of acid rain damage

 

  The Defelsko Paint Gauge
 
The Defelsko Paint Gauge  

Features:

  • Simply measure right out of the box
  • No Calibration Required
  • Flip Display for right-side-up viewing in any position.
  • Built-in wrist strap
  • Largest LCD on the market
  • Works in all types of weather conditions
  • Fast, accurate measurements
  • Pocket-size for one hand operation
  • Durable quality construction
  • Approved by major Dealer Equipment Programs such as Toyota, GM, BMW, Nissan, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Volkswagen
  • FREE Certificate of Calibration
  • 30 Day money back guarantee
  • 2 Year warranty

 

 
     
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The Defelsko PosiTest DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge requires no calibration and no set-up. Use it right out of the box to measure coating thickness on any metal. A certificate of calibration is included.

Use the Defelsko PosiTest DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge in all weather conditions. It has durable construction with a built-in wrist strap and innovative flip screen that allows it to be viewed from any position. The Defelsko Paint Gauge has the largest LCD screen available on the market.

The Defelsko PosiTest DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge works instantly. All to often it is hard to know exactly how much paint is left on a surface. A Defelsko Paint Gage helps you do the job right the first time while showing others how professional  you really are.

In seconds  you can acquire multiple readings on a paint panel.  No longer will you have to guess what is going on.  Let the numbers tell you what is going on. Having the right knowledge before you start a job is crucial.

  The Defelsko Paint Gauge

DeFelsko manufactures hand-held, non-destructive coating thickness gauges that are ideal for use by automotive paint detailers. They enable full service detailers to quantitatively measure and control the amount of clear coat removed when sanding and buffing automotive paints.


The PosiTest DFT is the economical and most common solution for measuring on exterior metal automobile panels

.
  a. The PosiTest DFT-Ferrous for steel panels.
  b. The PosiTest DFT-Combo for both steel and aluminum panels.



Simple, affordable gage for total coating thickness measurement on metal panels.

The PosiTest DFT series of gauges measure coatings up to 40 mils (1000 microns) making them ideal for non-destructive measurement of automotive paint thickness on a variety of metals. The PosiTest DFT Ferrous is ideal for measurements on steel panels, where as the PosiTest DFT Combo is available for measurement requirements on both steel and aluminum panels. With +3% accuracy and a 0.1 mil (2 micron) resolution, the PosiTest DFT provides the capability to measure the amount of paint removed while sanding and buffing. Approved by major Dealer Equipment Programs such as Toyota, GM, BMW, Nissan, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai and Volkswagen.

 
The Defelsko Paint Gauge  

The ultimate Paint Thickness Gage helps you escalate your business to the next level. Show everyone how professional you really are.

This lightweight and versatile unit automatically measures coatings on any metal even aluminum.

DeFelsko manufactures hand-held, non-destructive coating thickness gages that are ideal for use by automotive paint detailers. They enable full service detailers to quantitatively measure and control the amount of clear coat removed when sanding and buffing automotive paints. Manufactured in the USA to the highest quality standard.


The Defelsko PosiTest  DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge measures the paint thickness on all metals, including steel and aluminum.

 

 
 
 
 

 Q & A

What does a paint thickness gage measure?

Magnetic and Eddy Current

Paint thickness gauges simply measure or distance (height or gap) between the probe tip and the base metal. They make no distinction between the layers that make up that distance. Their thickness calculation includes the thickness of all layers (primer, base-color and clear coats), any repainted material, filler material, dirt, etc. Unless a measurement is taken before and after each layer has been applied, the user must estimate the thickness of each layer.

Ultrasonic

Ultrasonic gauges use an ultrasonic transducer to emit a high frequency sound pulse. The pulse travels into the coating via a coupling gel and reflects from ANY surface that is different in density. Coating thickness readings are obtained by measuring the time taken for the ultrasonic signal to propagate from the probe to the coating/substrate interface and back. The travel time is divided by two and multiplied by the velocity of sound in the coating to obtain the thickness of the coating.

Ultrasonic models are available to either measure the total system thickness (like magnetic and eddy current gages) or the individual layer thicknesses in a multi-layer paint system. The affordable models are only intended for use over non-metal materials such as plastic.

What is clear coat?
The clear coat is polyethylene paint without color pigmentation. Thickness usually ranges between 1.5 2.0 mils (35 50 microns). It is the final original equipment manufacturers coating applied to a vehicle to protect the (base) color coat from a hostile environment while providing both depth and a durable, glossy appearance. It is easily scratched and, once compromised, requires re-painting, as the base color has no shine or brilliance. Also, the clear coat provides UVR protection for the colored paint layer.

Car manufacturers now specify that the paint thickness be measured before and after any wet sanding or buffing. Measurements should be taken regularly since it is virtually impossible to see how much paint is being removed during the buffing process. Using a paint thickness gauge gives a professional detailer credibility and also acts as an insurance against ‘break-though’ of a clear coat, which would entail a re-paint.

What should the paint thickness be?
Unfortunately there is no absolute target value no thickness. There are many different manufacturers making many different models with a wide variety of paint formulations and specifications. Some vehicles may only have 3 mils (75 microns) of total paint thickness on the roof, while some SUVs may have 17 mils (430 microns) on their rocker panels. Some vehicles are repainted at the factory when flaws are detected during manufacture. Typically however a vehicle from the factory will have between 4 – 7 mils (100 – 180 microns).

Are these instruments known by other names?
Although most industries call them coating thickness gauges, the automobile industry also uses names such as paint depth gauge, paintmeter, refinishing gauge, dry film thickness gauge (DFT gauges), paint thickness gauge (PTG), mil gauge, banana gauge, spot checker, or paint gauge. Spelling is either American (gage) or British (gauge).

Where else in the auto industry are these instruments used?
Detailers require a simple gauge with good measuring accuracy and resolution to monitor the decreasing thickness of clear coat with buffing. But the same or similar instruments are used by body shops, dealerships, painters, appraisers, inspectors, and professional car buyers at auctions.

 

     
Do I have to re-calibrate my meter often?
The term “calibrate” is often miss-used. For a complete definition read this. Most people use the word to mean, “adjust to make accurate”. Quality meters automatically calibrate themselves regularly and usually require little input from the user except to RESET it if factory settings get modified, either deliberately or accidentally. All meters should be checked regularly for accuracy by measuring an uncoated piece of metal to ensure the gage reads “0”, and/or by measuring the included plastic shims when placed over uncoated metal. Cheaper, lower cost instruments “drift” and therefore should be checked before use each day. Their probe tips wear and their electronic components have wide operating tolerances. When they read in error, a one-point or two-point calibration adjustment by the user is necessary as described in the user manual. You get what you pay for.
  best paint gage
     

What is Detailing?

Detailing as it relates to paint thickness measurement is the systematic cleaning, rejuvenating and protecting of the exterior painted surfaces of a vehicle. The primary purpose for paint detailing is to retain the appearance of newer vehicles or to revitalize older neglected vehicles.

Cleaning is a preparatory step intended to remove dirt, dust, and other loose contaminants in order to allow full inspection of current paint conditions. Rejuvenation refers to the processes used to return a vehicle to its original showroom condition. The extent of rejuvenation is dependent on the customer’s expectations. Protection refers to the maintenance processes such as waxing that are used to keep the vehicle looking new for as long as possible after detailing.

Simple washing and waxing will not remove many types of surface paint damage; a rejuvenation step (polishing with an orbit or more effective high speed polisher) is added before the waxing step. When rejuvenation is required, detailers often polish the top clear coat layer of automotive paints to remove surface damage such as fine scratches, scuffs, swirl marks, oxidation, stains, paint overspray, tar, tree sap, acid rain or water spots. This polishing process is often referred to as finessing. Extensive paint problems may require the use of several sanding and buffing steps to bring the paint back closer to its original beauty.

Automotive manufacturers typically use one of two main types of paint systems in their vehicles. The most common used today is a clear coat system in which a thin layer of color is applied, followed by multiple layers of clear non-pigmented paint. Used less frequently today is a single-stage paint system that consists of the application of multiple layers of pigmented paint. Since most detailing chemicals are designed to work on both paint systems, the paint detailing process does not significantly change based upon the type of paint system.

Why measure?

To ensure consumer value and thus maintain profitability, there are two main considerations when justifying equipment and processes involved in the detailing process. Any added cost must result in improvements in either efficiency or effectiveness. While it could be argued that a detailer’s ability to take quick readings with a paint thickness gauge in order to determine the remaining paint thickness is an efficiency benefit, the primary benefit is the increase in effectiveness.

When the need to polish (sand and buff) has been identified it is important to evaluate the paint in surrounding areas. Most factory paint jobs seem to range from 4 – 7 mils (100 – 180 microns). Thinner readings indicate that the clear coat is almost entirely removed or in the case of single-stage systems that the primer is about to show through. As represented in the photo above, thicker readings are often an indication that repainting has occurred. When repainting is detected, the operator has a difficult task in evaluating the suitability (thickness) of the top layer of paint for buffing. No matter how careful the operator, buffing or polishing on thin coatings risk paint damage to the vehicle. When detailing thin coatings or unknown paint layer thickness, an alternative system such as hand polishing may be the only safe option.

After determining the paint system used on the vehicle and thus the expected paint thickness, it is important to determine the actual paint thickness. Even an experienced detailer finds it difficult to determine paint thickness, especially clear coat, through visual inspection. As thinner, more scratch resistant clear coats such as nano technology become more prevalent, it will become more critical to use high resolution electronic thickness gauge to determine how much paint thickness is being removed while finessing.

Because of the potential for removing the majority of the UV blockers, most auto manufacturers recommend that a maximum of 0.3 mils (8 microns) clear coat be removed as prevention from UV damage to underlying paint layers. In a worst-case scenario with a single stage paint process, buffing down to the primer may result in a costly trip to the paint booth.

Also consider that paint damage may not visually appear immediately. When too much topcoat is removed, premature failures such as fading or delamination may occur. Failures have the potential for lawsuits, unhappy customers and loss of reputation. Such risks can be alleviated by monitoring and minimizing the amount of topcoat removed, which is best done through quick and easy measurements with an electronic paint gauge.

Significant damage below the top painted surface may include deep scratches, etching, staining, and heavy oxidation. Just as simple washing and waxing will not remove some top layer paint damage, rejuvenation through sanding and buffing may not be adequate for removing deeper paint damage. It is therefore important to recognize the limitations before too much paint has been removed. 

Manufacturing Materials

Traditionally, steel was used exclusively to manufacture automobile exteriors because it balanced cost with strength and machinability. Now aluminum is used for some components as manufacturers look for ways to reduce weight without sacrificing safety. Both these metals require painting for corrosion protection and cosmetic appeal.

Bumpers and fascia systems are commonly made of plastic and composite materials. Lightweight, they allow designers the freedom to create innovative concepts. While metal panels are easily dented by minor impacts, plastic body panels are more resistant to damage.

On some recently manufactured cars and trucks it is not uncommon to find all three materials – doors and fenders made of steel, roofs and hoods made of aluminum, bumpers and mirrors made of plastic.

 

 


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How to Measure

Magnetic and Eddy Current

  1. Turn Gage on.
  2. Place the probe FLAT on the surface to be measured. HOLD STEADY. When a valid measurement is calculated, the Gage BEEPS and the measurement is displayed.
  3. Lift probe at least 2 inches (5cm) from the surface between measurements - OR - leave probe on the surface in the same location for continuous measurements every 2 seconds. Do not drag the probe sideways on the surface.

To occasionally verify gage accuracy, follow these simple steps:

  1. Measure an uncoated part. This quick zero-check determines if a calibration adjustment is needed for the particular object being measured.
  2. Next, lay the included plastic shims onto the bare surface and measure them individually to ensure the Gage can measure these known thicknesses within tolerance.

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