A measure of the thickness of the paint coating

Although in theory every, and practically, almost every sheet metal repair leaves visible traces, even professionals use paint thickness gauges when assessing the actual technical condition of a used car. This is because even if you have an open eye and know what to look for, the meter speeds up your work. And one more thing: the paint thickness gauge is designed to check not only whether the car has two layers of paint or putty on it, but also how much factory paint is still on the car that has been (very often!) Polished by the dealer. Cars are often polished before the sale, and it is not uncommon for dealers to do this incorrectly because they remove too much paint, leaving a film so thin that a thin layer of paint hardly protects against external damage, and then the only alternative is to paint the car from scratch.


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How to choose a paint thickness gauge?

The paint thickness gauges can be either mechanical or electronic. The simplest mechanical gauges are equipped with a small magnet, which is attracted to the car body, and the moment of "detaching" the gauge from the tested element determines approximately the thickness of the paint. Handling these meters is a bit cumbersome. They require a flat surface for correct measurement and are not suitable for aluminium bodies. Electronic meters are much more accurate and have greater functionality. This group includes NexPTG meters, which are manufactured in Poland. The ergonomic casing is made of high-quality hard plastic, and the movable and spherical point probe allows you to make accurate measurements also on curved internal and external parts of vehicles (in cheaper models with flat probes, correct measurement is possible only on flat or slightly curved surfaces).

NexPTG - high-quality electronic gauges for measuring the thickness of the lighter

NexPTG meters operate on the principle of magnetic induction in the case of steel surfaces and the eddy current method for aluminium, and the sampling rate is 10 measurements per second. The measurement range is from 0μm to 2500μm with the manufacturer's declared accuracy of 2% and the measurement resolution of 1μm. The advantage of the NexPTG Professional meter is that it automatically recognizes the type of substrate - steel, galvanized steel and aluminium. Of course, for the measurement results to be correct, the tested surface must be dry. It does not have to be perfectly cleaned - the equipment can easily deal with small dirt. The NexPTG Professional meter is powered by two AA batteries, which should last for about 100 hours of operation at an ambient temperature of -20 to +40 � C. The device turns off automatically after 5 minutes in the absence of a wireless connection, and the application has a low battery indicator. The meter is factory calibrated, but after a long period of non-use, we can re-calibrate it using the two plates (steel and aluminium).

NexPTG mobile application

Using NexPTG Professional is very intuitive, but requires a dedicated application available for iOS and Android. After installing the software, turning on the meter and synchronizing via Bluetooth 4.0 LE, measurements can be made. The application not only shows the thickness but also analyzes the paint coating. Green colour means the factory coating, orange paint corrections and red - a thicker layer of putty. If according to the application, the tested place has a layer of varnish thicker than the original paint layer, we will additionally be notified with a sound signal. The software also has sketches of vehicles with marked points where the measurement should be made, thanks to which it is possible to create individual reports for vehicles. A legible report, where the problematic body parts are marked with appropriate colours, can then be printed or saved as e.g. a pdf file. An important advantage is also the presence of a purchase guide in the application, which tells you what to check before buying a car. Thanks to this, we will not miss, for example, the mirror heating test.