Surface Profile Gauge

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Surface Profile Gauge

Surface Profile Gauges are used to measure the profile height of a surface. The degree of the surface profile on the surface affects a coating’s overall performance and determines aspects such as adhesion, coverage and overall volume of coatings used. If the surface profile is too large the amount of coating required increases, otherwise there is a danger that the peaks remain uncoated – allowing rust spots to occur. If the surface profile is too small there may be insufficient key for adequate adhesion leading to premature coating failure.

To ensure the correct surface preparation optimises the performance of the coating and material usage, the profile height of a surface needs to be accurately assessed and measured. It is essential to know this parameter as it determines the adhesion, coverage and overall volume of coating used.

Elcometer offer a wide range of digital and mechanical Surface Profile Gages, Surface Roughness Testers, Surface Comparators and Testex Tapes, for surface profile testing or for surface roughness testing. A Surface Profile Gage helps to record and access the value from the top of the peak to the bottom of the valley measuring the profile height of a surface. A Surface Roughness Tester records and measures the roughness over a specified distance, recording peak-to-valley average. A Surface Comparator is used as a very quick guide to compare freshly blasted profiles to pre-defined profiles. The standard Surface Comparators are available as either grit, shot or sand. A Surface Profile Replica Tape (Testex Tape) is used to compress against a roughened material to replicate details of its surface roughness and is then used with a Thickness Gauge to measure the peak-to-valley height of a surface profile.


Surface Profile Comparators


If you want to quickly assess the surface profile of blasted profiles or predefined profiles, surface profile comparators are the best option for you. They are easily transportable and very easy to use.

We have a range of surface comparators which are used to compare the freshly blasted profiles to pre-defined profiles and it comes with different measurements. Some surface comparators have a hole in the middle which allows the comparator to be placed on the surface to be assessed so that the comparator and the surface are visible together – enabling clear visual comparisons with reference profiles.

The Elcometer 125 Surface Comparator has four reference profile grades to measure the profile of either grit or shot and is measured in microns.

The Elcometer 127 Keane-Tator Surface Comparators & Magnifier are available in sand, shot or grit surface profiles and is measured in mils. Each comparator is supplied with 5 profile grades ranging from 0.5 – 5.5 mils and is designed for use with the illuminated magnifier to assist with the visual comparison.

The Elcometer 129 Rubert & Rugotest Surface Comparators are available in two models. The Elcometer 129 Rubert is available in grit and shot versions and the Elcometer 129 Rugotest is available with the shot and grit profiles in the same block.

We also have specialist surface comparators such as the Elcometer 133, available for assessing the surface condition of ship’s propeller(s) – either during dry dock or underwater. These measure the Roughness Average (Ra) and Peak-to-Valley Mean Height (Rz).

In some cases a tactile comparison is used, however care should be taken not to contaminate the substrate.

Additionally there are surface comparators (such as the Elcometer Surface Weld Comparator) which are available to measure the quality of weld beads.


Surface Profile – Testex Replica Tape


The Elcometer 122 Testex Replica Tape is a very simple technique to measure a surface profile. The foam side of the Testex Tape is used to mould the peak-to-valley profile of the surface and then the measurement is taken by the Elcometer 124, a mechanical Surface Profile and Thickness Gauge. The Elcometer 124 Thickness gauge has been specifically designed to provide the correct anvil area and measurement force so as not to effect the surface profile reading. The gauge can also be zeroed to offset the original tape window thickness (typically 50µm (2 mils). The Testex Replica Tape is a proof of test, as the tape can be included in manual reports.

Whilst surface comparators provide a useful indication of surface profile the interpretation of the profile is dependent on the user and thus the use of surface comparators to determine surface profile is a subjective test.

Replica Tape, however, produces a numerical value for the surface profile and has the added advantage of providing a ‘proof of test’ as the tape can be included in manual reports (if stored correctly).

The Testex Tape is available in four ranges for different surface profile ranges;

  • Coarse minus (C-) (not used in blast profiles)
  • Coarse © for 20-38μm (0.8-1.5mils) profiles
  • X-Coarse (XC) 64-115μm (2.5-4.5mils), and
  • X-Coarse plus (XC+) for profiles between 115-127μm (4.5-5.0mils).


Surface Profile Gauges


Elcometer offer a range of mechanical and digital Surface Profile Gauges that is reliable and easy to use to measure profile of any surface. For the mechanical surface profile gauges we have the Elcometer 123 Surface Profile gauge used to record the value from the top of the peak to the bottom of the valley measuring the profile height of a surface. This mechanical surface profile gauge is very simple and easy to use to get quick readings, which is ideal for use in explosive areas but users are required to manually record and calculate the average of the spot readings to determine the surface profile. For the digital surface profile gauges we have the Elcometer 224 and 223 Surface Profile Gauge similar to the Elcometer 123, however it provides more of a sophisticated approach into recording readings digitally without having to write it down. Fast, accurate and very user friendly, the Elcometer 224 Surface Profile Gauge can measure the surface profile on either flat or curved surfaces. The Elcometer 223 Surface Profile Gauge measures the peak-to-valley height of a surface in a similar way to the Elcometer 224 Surface Profile Gauge.


Surface Roughness Testers


The Elcometer 7061 is a surface roughness tester that is light weight and portable measuring solution for the range of surface roughness measurements required for compliance to International Standards. Not only it measures the peak-to-valley height but also gives you the frequency of peaks encountered on a sample area. A wide range of stylus pick-ups and accessories are also available from Elcometer to suit all your inspection needs.


Elcometer 124 Thickness Gauge


The Elcometer 124 Thickness Gauge is used to measure the peak-to-valley height of a surface profile moulded in the Elcometer 122 Testex Replica Tape.

Key benefits and features of the Elcometer 124 Thickness Gauge include:

  • Available in both Metric and Imperial versions
  • Quick and easy to use
  • Anvil pressure as required in the Standards.

Technical Specification

Part Number Description Range Dimensions Weight Scale Resolution
E124—3M Elcometer 124 Thickness Gauge – Metric 5mm 125 x 95 x 25mm 270g 2µm
E124—3E Elcometer 124 Thickness Gauge – Imperial 0.2″ 4.9 x 3.6 x 1.0″ 9.6oz 0.1mil
Certificate available Certificate of Calibration: issued for Fixed Calibration equipment and shows readings and traceability.
Accredited Certificate: can be issued for Fixed Calibration Equipment and a full UKAS traceable certificate is issued from an independent Calibration Laboratory.