Coating thickness is an important variable that plays a role in product quality, process control, and cost control. Measurement of film thickness can be done with many different instruments. Understanding the equipment that is available for film thickness measurement and how to use it is useful to every coating operation.
The issues that determine what method is best for a given coating measurement include the type of coating, the substrate material, the thickness range of the coating, the size and shape of the part, and the cost of the equipment. Commonly used measuring techniques for cured organic films include nondestructive dry film methods such as magnetic, eddy current, ultrasonic, or micrometer measurement and also destructive dry film methods such as cross-sectioning or gravimetric (mass) measurement. Methods are also available for powder and liquid coatings to measure the film before it is cured.