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Page 25 of 52

COATINGSPRO SURFACE PREP 2018 25 As a result, instrumentation tools are available to help facilitate proper measurement. One popular route is to visually assess the surface with a series of photographs, and a new offering in this space is W Abrasives' WA Clean Technology product, which can analyze the cleanliness of a steel surface in less than two seconds. Using an electronic optical eye, the product provides an accurate and quantitative measurement in any ambient lighting conditions. "Knowing that re-blasting affects drastically the cost and delivery time of a job, many contractors will just over-blast the surfaces to be cleaned," W Abrasives' Bouchard said. "But, over-cleaning is also very expensive. e WA Clean Technology can be used at the initial stage of work to deter- mine the cleanliness level required for the job between the customer, contractor, inspector, and the paint company. Once the unbiased measure has been determined, the contractor can evaluate the cleanliness level prior to the arrival of the inspector and adjust accordingly." DeFelsko is another instrumentation provider that can assist with profile measurement. e company offers a series of interchangeable probes to measure a variety of parameters, including thickness, profile, environmental conditions, shore hardness, salt contamination, and wall thickness. e compa- ny's PosiTector gage body universally accepts all PosiTector 6000, 200, RTR (replica tape reader), SPG (surface profile gage), DPM (dew point meter), SST (soluble salt tester), SHD (shore hardness durometer), and UTG (ultrasonic thickness gage) probes, and it easily converts from a coating thickness gage to the other measurements. Testex is one manufacturer of the replica tape, which forms an impression of the surface when pressed against a roughened steel surface. From there, placing the compressed tape inside the thickness gage can provide a measurement of the surface profile height. T he Paul N. Gardner Co. (Gardco) recently introduced a new surface roughness standards set that can be used for the measurement of surface roughness. T he economy, composite set consists of 30 specimens of electroformed solid nickel. Each ty pe of surface finish, such as f lat lapping, reaming, grinding, horizontal milling, vertical milling, and turning, is consistently reproduced to give users a realistic idea of the feel, appearance, and texture of the machined components. By means of this set, or by using an individual standard 's specimen scale sets, quick and easy comparisons can be made. Final Preparation After any coatings job is complete, the eventual success or failure of the new system will often be decided by the quality of surface preparation. Without paying close attention to the entire surface prep process, numerous issues could arise, ranging from poor initial adhesion to premature failures. New equipment and process technologies are helping make surface preparation operations more powerful and efficient than ever before. However, the usage of those products can only be optimized if contractors also under- stand the industry standards, best practices, and regulatory requirements unique to each jobsite. As such, applicators who are aware of both technical options and evolving standards will be best positioned to succeed at this critical phase of a coatings installation project. CP Succeed at Surface Prep Surface prep for larger surfaces, such as pipes and tanks, may require the use of robotic technologies. Smaller areas may require special equipment, too. Hand tools are often used in those areas. Once the surface is prepped, the profile should be confirmed before moving onto applying the coatings. Profile gages and standard sets, such as from Paul N. Gardner Co., are available to help in this area.

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