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PosiTest DFT Ferrous Electronic Paint Thickness Gauge
The PosiTest DFT Coating Thickness Gage measures
non-magnetic coatings on steel. Ideal for powder coaters, paint
applicators, coating inspectors, painting contractors and
automotive refinishers, resellers, dealerships or inspectors.
The DeFelsko PosiTest DFT gage features fast, repeatable
measurements with no calibration required for most applications.
Handy ZERO feature for rough or curved surfaces and gauge RESET
feature when no zero reference is available. The ruby-tipped probe
is strong and wear resistant with a V-groove for positioning on
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
and coating thicknesses.
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
The Defelsko PosiTest DFT Combo Electronic Paint Thickness
Gauge measures the paint thickness on all metals, including steel
Gauge measures non-magnetic coatings on steel.
It is the economical choice that retains
the uncompromising quality of DeFelsko inspection instruments.
Supplied with NIST traceable calibration certificate.
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
b. The PosiTest DFT-Combo for both steel
and aluminum panels.
Ideal for Automobile...
The Defelsko PosiTest DFT 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.
Defelsko Paint Gauge has the largest LCD screen available on
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 jon right the first time while
showing others how professional you really are.
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.
No calibration required for
ZERO feature for rough or
Handy RESET feature when no
zero reference is available
Strong, wear resistant,
Audible and visible
V-groove in probe for
positioning on cylindrical parts
manufactures hand-held, 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
affordable gage for total coating thickness measurement on
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 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.
does a paint thickness gauge measure?
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 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 to 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 a break-though of a clear coat, which would entail a
What should the paint
Consistency is what is important.
Measurements taken across a panel should show only small variations
in thickness. Areas of reduced thickness may be a cause for concern.
Areas of much greater thickness may indicate rework. If the
instrument does not give a measurement, or reads â€ś- - - -â€ś it means
that the thickness is over the gageâ€™s limit and could mean the
presence of filler and a likely repair.
Are these instruments known by other
Although most industries call them coating thickness gauges, the
automobile industry also uses names such as paint depth gauge,
paint meter, refinishing gauge, dry film thickness gauge (DFT gages),
paint thickness gauge (PTG), mil gauge, banana gauge, spot checker, or
paint gauge. Spelling is either American (gauge) or British (gauge).
What do F and N stand for
on the display?
Most instruments display the principle of operation used to take a
measurement. â€śFâ€ť stands for ferrous metals (steel) and it means a
magnetic principle was used to obtain the displayed measurement. â€śNâ€ť
or â€śNFâ€ť or NFeâ€ť stands for non-ferrous metals (aluminum, copper,
etc.) and it means an eddy current principle was used to obtain the
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.
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
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
customers 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.
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.
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 detailers 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
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 â€“ 7
mils (100 â€“ 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.
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 â€“
doors and fenders made of steel, roofs and hoods made of aluminum,
bumpers and mirrors made of plastic.
Magnetic and Eddy Current
To occasionally verify gauge accuracy, follow these simple
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