New products from Elcometer

Pigment & Resin Technology

ISSN: 0369-9420

Article publication date: 1 April 2000




(2000), "New products from Elcometer", Pigment & Resin Technology, Vol. 29 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

New products from Elcometer

New products from Elcometer

Keywords: Elcometer, Coatings, Testing

Elcometer Instruments Ltd report that it has introduced four new products. The first is a method for monitoring the adhesion of coatings, the Elcometer 109 Non-Destructive Pull-Off Adhesion Tester.

The Elcometer 109 uses specially designed and manufactured tensile dollies that break at a predetermined force. Different breaking force tensile dollies are available, so the user can select the value and test this limit on a pass/fail basis. If the element breaks then the coating adhesion exceeds the limit defined by the choice of element and as the coating is undamaged the test has been non-destructive.

The elements are glued to the coating surface using an adhesive that is suitable for the coating to be tested. In most cases the part of the element left on the surface, after it has broken, can be removed either with a sharp blow on its edge or by applying heat to soften the adhesive.

In the event that the coating fails before the tensile dolly breaks, then this signifies a coating failure. The surface of the element can be studied to determine the nature of the failure, i.e. coating to substrate, coating to coating or even adhesive failure.

According to Elcometer the new test method has been fully evaluated in Norwegian oil and gas production applications and can form the basis of a simple, daily quality check on coating applications without the need to interpret measurement values.

The company has also introduced many new features for its coating thickness gauge, the Elcometer 345.

The 345 is a family of coating thickness gauges having options for integral and separate probes, ferrous, non-ferrous and dual ferrous/non-ferrous substrates with either simple four-key control or more powerful nine-key control pads. Many new features have been added to the three software versions, Basic, Standard, (both four-key versions) and Top, (nine-key version).

In addition to the existing capabilities for two-point and special calibration adjustment and automatic switch-off, the gauges now have the following:

  • Increased range on Fl and Nl scales to 1,500um (60mil).

  • Calibration adjustment keylock to prevent accidental change to calibration.

  • "Big Foot" on integral probe options for increased stability.

  • Improved repeatability.

  • Increased reading rate to > 40 readings per minute.

  • Louder bleep output, approximately double the original specification.

  • Factory set default calibration.

  • Increased battery life - rechargeable battery compatibility.

  • "Raincoat" option for over-spray protection.

The four-key versions also have Statistical Summary with user-defined sequence (patent applied for). The user can display the number of readings, the mean, the standard deviation and the highest and lowest readings in any order to suit the application.

Basic versions have an infra-red data output, so these statistical values can be transmitted, without cable, to a mini printer.

Standard versions have an operator-switched backlight for low light conditions, a reading indicator for high noise environments and data output, using an interface cable, for connection to either printer or computer.

Top (nine-key) versions have memory for 16,000 readings with auto batching. Readings and statistical values from all stored batches can be reviewed on the display, printed or up-loaded to a computer for analysis. The Elcometer Data Collection Software (EDCS) is a Windows™ -based software program to aid the user with transmission and analysis of data.

The company has also released a test kit for the detection and measurement of soluble salts on steel surfaces. Known as the Elcometer 134 CHLOR*TEST™ Salt Detection Kit and aimed particularly at marine painting applications, this kit claims a quick and simple method for the assessment of surfaces for chlorides prior to coating.

The presence of chloride ions as contamination on the surface of a steel structure has the potential to cause premature coating failure due to corrosion at the surface of the steel. Cleaning the steel surface will only be effective if, in addition to removing rust, these soluble salts are also removed. A simple field test to determine the level of such salts, accurately, will help to ensure a coating that will achieve its full operating life.

The Elcometer 134 is said to be simple and convenient to use with its four-step process:

  1. 1.

    Pour CHLOR*EXTRACT ™ solution into the latex tube.

  2. 2.

    Peel the protective backing off the flange of the tube, pinch tube to retain the CHLOR*EXTRACT ™ and stick the flange to the surface to be tested.

  3. 3.

    Work the solution against the surface to extract the salts and peel the flange off.

  4. 4.

    Insert the glass titration tube into the solution in the tube and read the result.

This process, reportedly, takes about five minutes and a simple colour change in the tube registers the level of chloride ions in both parts per million (ppm) or micrograms per centimetre squared (mg/cm2).

According to Elcometer the test has been shown to be very accurate as the CHLOR*EXTRACT™ will remove at least 90 per cent of the chloride ions present on the surface. This extraction efficiency is measured by comparison to the salts removed by boiling water.

Kits are supplied with sufficient materials to complete five tests and the carton serves as both storage and convenient stand for the tube during the titration tube test.

The final product to be introduced is an instrument for detecting flaws, holes and holidays in coatings applied to conductive substrates, the Elcometer 236 High Voltage Holiday Detector.

The detection of holidays and other flaws in coatings is particularly important for pipe and tank linings, water and sewage treatment facilities, flexible membranes on concrete bridge decks and vitreous enamel coatings in a variety of applications.

The Elcometer 236 is available in two, fully adjustable, test voltage ranges, 0-15kV and 0-30kV. The lightweight, portable, rugged and simple-to-use instrument is supplied complete with a brush probe and uses a fully enclosed rechargeable battery pack as its energy source. Charger units for any mains voltage, 230V UK standard plug, 230V European standard plug or 110V US standard plug are supplied according to the customer's choice.

To avoid the difficulty of field recharging, an optional external battery pack is available that can be charged separately and then plugged into the instrument to bypass the internal battery and provide further testing time.

The convenient carry-case, also included in the instrument kit, has straps for carrying the probe when it is not in use and a simple twist-and-lock pouch location for the spare battery pack or the mains charger unit. The instrument, in its carry-case with the probe fitted, weighs 2.8kg and can be easily carried over the shoulder.

A full range of probe options is available including:

  • Right-angle probes in either phosphor-bronze wire or conductive rubber for large test areas.

  • Circular wire brushes with a range of diameters for internal pipe coatings.

  • Rolling-spring probes for external pipe coatings.

  • Extension-pieces where long reach is required.

Details available from: Elcometer Instruments Ltd. Tel: +44 (0) 161 371 6000; Fax: +44 (0) 161 371 6010; e-mail:; Website:

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