Designation: E 376 – 06

Standard Practice for
Measuring Coating Thickness by Magnetic-Field or Eddy-
Current (Electromagnetic) Examination Methods1
This standard is issued under the fixed designation E 376; the number immediately following the designation indicates the year of
original adoption or, in the case of revision, the year of last revision. A number in parentheses indicates the year of last reapproval. A
superscript epsilon (e) indicates an editorial change since the last revision or reapproval.
This standard has been approved for use by agencies of the Department of Defense.

1. Scope ings Applied to Non-Ferrous Metals
1.1 This practice covers the use of magnetic- and eddy- E 543 Specification for Agencies Performing Nondestruc-
current-type thickness instruments (gages) for nondestructive tive Testing
thickness measurement of a coating on a metal substrate. E 1316 Terminology for Nondestructive Examinations
1.2 More specific uses of these instruments are covered by G 12 Test Method for Nondestructive Measurement of Film
Practice D 7091 and the following test methods issued by Thickness of Pipeline Coatings on Steel
ASTM: Test Methods B 244, B 499, B 530, and G 12. 2.2 ASNT Standards:2
1.3 The values stated in SI units are to be regarded as SNT-TC-1A Recommended Practice for Personnel Qualifi-
standard. The inch-pound units in parentheses are for informa- cation and Certification in Nondestructive Testing
tion only and may be approximate. ANSI/ASNT-CP-189 Standard for Qualification and Certi-
1.4 Measurements made in accordance with this practice fication of NDT Personnel
will be in compliance with the requirements of ISO 2178 as 2.3 AIA Standard:
printed in 1982. NAS-410 Certification and Qualification of Nondestructive
1.5 This standard does not purport to address all of the Testing Personnel3
safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the 2.4 International Standard:
responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appro- ISO 2178 Nonmagnetic Coatings on Magnetic Substrate—
priate safety and health practices and determine the applica- Measurement of Coating Thickness—Magnetic
bility of regulatory limitations prior to use. Method4
NOTE 1—See Appendix X1.
2. Referenced Documents
2.1 ASTM Standards: 3. Terminology
B 244 Test Method for Measurement of Thickness of An- 3.1 Definitions—Definitions of terms relating to electro-
odic Coatings on Aluminum and of Other Nonconductive magnetic examination are given in Terminology E 1316.
Coatings on Nonmagnetic Basis Metals with Eddy-Current
Instruments 4. Significance and Use
B 499 Test Method for Measurement of Coating Thick- 4.1 General—No presently available thickness gage is ap-
nesses by the Magnetic Method: Nonmagnetic Coatings on plicable to all combinations of coating-substrate thicknesses
Magnetic Basis Metals and materials. The limitations of a particular instrument are
B 530 Test Method for Measurement of Coating Thick- generally delineated by its manufacturer.
nesses by the Magnetic Method: Electrodeposited Nickel 4.2 Magnetic—Magnetic-type gages measure either mag-
Coatings on Magnetic and Nonmagnetic Substrates netic attraction between a magnet and a coating or its substrate,
D 7091 Practice for Nondestructive Measurement of Dry or reluctance of a magnetic flux path passing through the
Film Thickness of Nonmagnetic Coatings Applied to coating and substrate. These gages are designed to measure
Ferrous Metals and Nonmagnetic, Nonconductive Coat-

Available from The American Society for Nondestructive Testing (ASNT), P.O.
This practice is under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee E07 on Nonde- Box 28518, 1711 Arlingate Ln., Columbus, OH 43228-0518.
structive Testing and is the direct responsibility of Subcommittee E07.07 on Available from Aerospace Industries Association of America, Inc., 1250 Eye
Electromagnetic Method. St., NW, Washington, DC 20005. (Replacement standard for MIL-STD-410.)
Current edition approved Dec. 1, 2006. Published January 2007. Originally Available from American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 25 W. 43rd St.,
approved in 1989. Last previous edition approved in 2003 as E 376 – 03. 4th Floor, New York, NY 10036.

Copyright © ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, PO Box C700, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, United States.

Copyright ASTM International 1
Provided by IHS under license with ASTM Licensee=MHI - NAGOYA related to 3944000/3944000013
No reproduction or networking permitted without license from IHS Not for Resale, 01/07/2008 22:23:52 MST

NDT agencies shall be ments made too near an edge or inside corner will not be valid qualified and evaluated as described in Practice E 543.4 Structure and Composition of Coating and Substrate— performing examinations to this standard shall be qualified in Eddy-current instruments are sensitive to variations of struc- accordance with a nationally or internationally recognized ture. tween the using parties.1 Thickness of Coating—The precision of a measurement eddy-current-type instruments.2. tive to position of probe relative to the earth. They can only be used if the electrical conductivity alignment of pole pieces with surface of specimen or part under of the coating differs significantly from that of the substrate. Since it depends on the instrument probe and 6.3 Eddy Current—Eddy-current-type thickness gages are 5.`. changes with coating thickness depending on method used and 5. Edge effect is usually a function of 6. as long as teria for the examination results shall be in accordance with the measurement is made prior to any heat treatment.13 Probe Position—Some magnetic-type gages are sensi- treatments and cold working. can seriously interfere with operations of the coating thickness except at the lower end of the ranges certain thickness gages.-`-`.```.7 Smoothness of Surface. preparation criteria shall be in accordance with 5. as instrument design. Interferences tism in base metal may affect readings of magnetic. depending on method probe con- figuration. Section 9 unless otherwise specified. 01/07/2008 22:23:52 MST . therefore.2 Magnetic Properties of Basis Metal—Magnetic thick.12 Pressure of Probe—Instrument readings can be sensi- in low-carbon AISI 1005-1020 steels may be considered to be tive to pressure with which probe is applied to test surface. a greater number of measurements will provide an ment.14 Temperature—Eddy-current instruments may be af- examined before application of the coating. with a sample of the part to be 5.. the precision is a percentage of from arc welding.3 Thickness of Substrate—For each method there is an effective depth of penetration of field created by the instrument 6.`. insignificant. measure- specified in the contractual agreement. For example. shall be in accordance with the applicable contractual agree- rate.5 Surface Preparation—The pre-examination surface sensitivity varies considerably between instruments and be. The unless the instrument is specifically standardized for such a applicable edition of E 543 shall be specified in the contractual measurement. average value that is more truly representative of the overall Some of them will also measure thickness of nickel coatings on coating thickness. Roughness also may cause certain instru- a magnetic or nonmagnetic substrate.3 Qualification of Nondestructive Testing Agencies—If abrupt surface changes of test specimens. The effect usually extends 3 to 13 mm [1⁄8 to 1⁄2 agreement. 4.. composition. thickness.````. To avoid the influences of severe or localized heat 5. dardized using a reference standard having a base metal with operation of gage in a horizontal or upside-down position may the same magnetic properties as that of the test specimen or.1 The following items are subject to contractual agree- instrument will no longer be affected by increase of substrate ment between the parties using or referencing this standard.6 Curvature of Examination Surface—Thickness mea. 5. 5.`. such instruments are sensitive to document and certified by the employer or certifying agency. and (3) organic revision shall be identified in the contractual agreement be- coatings containing variable amounts of metallic pigments. This is the critical depth or thickness beyond which the 6. For practical purposes.10 Stray Magnetic Fields—Strong magnetic fields.`--- an eddy-current inducing coil caused by coating thickness base metal..7 Extent of Examination—The extent of examination shall be in accordance with the applicable contractual agreement.8 Direction of Rolling of Base Metal—Instruments with electronic instruments that measure variations in impedance of two pole pieces may be sensitive to direction of rolling of the --`..``. (2) chromium coat- as applicable.2 Personnel Qualification substrate.6 Timing of Examination—The timing of examination Since a rough surface may make single measurements inaccu. where it is a fixed thickness. the instrument should be stan.`. differences between: (1) aluminum alloys. require a new standardization or may be impossible.5 ments to read high since their probes may rest on peaks.NAGOYA related to 3944000/3944000013 No reproduction or networking permitted without license from IHS Not for Resale. SNT-TC-1A. or a similar substrate. magnetic variations 5. and other factors affecting electrical con- NDT personnel qualification practice or standard such as ductivity and magnetic permeability of the coating and ANSI/ASNT-CP-189.4 Procedures and Techniques—The procedures and tech- coil diameter. For example. gage readings may change depending on variations. 5..9 Residual Magnetism in Base Metal—Residual magne- 5. 5. examination. Since acceptance criteria Copyright ASTM International 2 Provided by IHS under license with ASTM Licensee=MHI . 6. Basis of Application probe. NAS-410. surements are sensitive to curvature of the specimen. that is.] from the discontinuity. requirements specified in the contractual agreement. are sensitive to foreign material that prevents intimate contact ness gages are affected by variations of the magnetic properties between probe and coating surface. agreement. in. 5.. This 6. preferably and if available. and instrument. niques to be utilized shall be as specified in the contractual 5.. Including That of Base Metal— 6.. The practice or standard used and its applicable ings deposited at different temperatures... Generally.8 Reporting Criteria/Acceptance Criteria—Reporting cri- phosphorus are sufficiently nonmagnetic to be measured by this method.and 5. 5 Autocatalytically deposited nickel-phosphorus alloys containing more than 8 % 6.`..11 and comes more pronounced with increasing curvature. fected by temperature variations. E 376 – 06 thickness of a nonmagnetic coating on a magnetic substrate. 6. personnel 5.1 If specified in the contractual agreement..11 Cleanness of Probe and Test Surface—Measurements 5. it should be determined experimentally.5 Edge Effect—All examination methods are sensitive to 6.. of the basis metal.

1. a specimen unless validity of calibration for such a measure- 7. especially for magnetic coatings and two orientations differing by 180°. 7.3.2 Edge Effects—Readings should not be made closer contact between them. ments employing a stationary magnetic field. 180. National Institute for specimens with sufficient thickness of the same material (to Standards and Technology (NIST).3. a reading on a rotating the probe in increments of 90°.`. mechanical working has a pronounced effect on the reading... Foils are subject to indentation and than 13 mm [1⁄2 in. 8. the reference standard make the measurement on the specimen with the probe in the should have the same electrical and magnetic properties as same orientation as that used during calibration..3.4 For magnetic instruments.9 The substrate thickness for examination/measurement grease.3 Curvature Effects—If the instrument has been cali- ings.```. Procedure 7.1 Operate each instrument in accordance with the manu- the manufacturer’s instructions and standardized before use by facturer’s instructions giving appropriate attention to factors employing suitable thickness standards. foil or coated substrate.6 6.8 and 5. MD 20899..1 Each instrument should be calibrated in accordance with 8. or other placed on the surface of uncoated base metal when standard. measurements with eddy-current 7.2.. be replaced when damaged.] from edges. be checked at frequent intervals during use. netic thickness gages for measurement of nonmagnetic coat. 7.2 Resilient foils should not be used if there is possi. 8. etc.3. then the this standard and if required shall be specified in the contrac. and cannot be other than instrument manufacturers.1 Because of normal instrument variability. contact between foil and substrate. they shall be specified in the exceed the critical thickness) and make readings independent contractual agreement. the foil is placed should have the same contour. as supplied or 8. 90.. Foils are advantageous for standardizing 8. when using two-pole instruments 7.3. 7. instrument is put into service and at frequent intervals during 7. and this may also be advisable with two-pole instruments.1 With magnetic gages the effective thickness of a flat on curved surfaces and are often more readily available than a substrate can be increased by placing it on a flat layer of coated standard. calibration of instruments with two-pole necessary to demagnetize the specimen to get valid results. and corrosion products should be removed by cleaning and standardization should be the same if the depth of penetration referred to in 5.4.7 If the coating process is changed.NAGOYA related to 3944000/3944000013 No reproduction or networking permitted without license from IHS Not for Resale.4 Number of Readings: bility that the instrument probe will cause a change in thickness 8. of substrate thickness. measurement and eddy-current instruments for measurement of nonconductive calibration should normally be made with the same probe coatings.. reference standards should 8. it is nec- reading. Local be avoided unless flexibility of thin foils is required for a variations in coating thickness may also require that a number curved surface.1 Thickness of Substrate—When thickness of the sub- instances.9 Reexamination of Repaired/Reworked Items— 7. Copyright ASTM International 3 --`. curvature of the coated standard or of the substrate on which tual agreement.. holes. backed up by the same metal. orientation..2.3 Thicknesses of reference standards should bracket and to vibrations. There are 8. Calibration and Standardization 8. Very often it is 6 Coated standards suitable for many applications for the practice may be possible to back up the substrates of standard and examination purchased from the Office of Standard reference materials.3. To prevent measurement errors due to poor material of the same magnetic properties. bare specimen identical in magnetic and electrical properties to 8.1.3 is not exceeded. however.1 Nonmagnetic foils may be used to standardize mag. Nonconductive plastic foils can be used to standardize brated with a specimen of similar curvature. it may be 7. and readings that are obviously erroneous should be as close as possible to the coating thickness being measured. impossible.2 Reference standards of uniform thickness are available use to assure proper performance.`--- Provided by IHS under license with ASTM Licensee=MHI . be rejected.5). therefore.`.6 Residual Magnetism—When residual magnetism is that of the test specimen substrate is recommended. known thickness permanently bonded to the substrate material.3 Observe the following precautions: recommended by the manufacturer of the instrument. make sure of intimate 8.3). electrically conducting materials. Standardization should listed in Section 5.3. If this is those of coated specimen being measured (see 5..`.5 For eddy-current instruments. 8. Use of two or more foils on top of each other should essary to make several readings at each position. 7.3.2. of measurements be made in any given area.4). With single-pole instru- eddy-current gages (see 5.2 Instruments of the attractive force type are sensitive 7. 7. in either of two types. izing the instrument.. ment has been demonstrated (see``. 01/07/2008 22:23:52 MST .`. this applies 7. the standardization employing a stationary magnetic field make measurements in may no longer be valid. 8.`.7 Cleaning of Surface—Foreign materials such as dirt. 270° (see 5.-`-`.8 In some cases.5 Direction of Mechanical Working—If the direction of have the same magnetic properties as the coated specimen.2 Check the instrument calibration at the site each time the be given to Section 5 and Section 8.````.3.3. make four measurements in various orientations by 7. inside corners. where reference standards are made by strate is less than the critical thickness (see 5.. E 376 – 06 are not specified in this standard. Gaithersburg.1 Standardization Foils (Shims)—Standardization foil is gages should not be made over metal surfaces..9).2 Coated reference standards consist of coatings of particularly to a rough surface.10 If the curvature of the coating to be measured is so Reexamination of repaired/reworked items is not addressed in arched as to preclude standardization on a flat surface. Attention should 8. of should.6 To determine standardization validity.4). present in the base metal.. and probes should be checked with the poles rotated 0.

1.043 mm [0.``.10 Position of Probe—In general. Do not use this procedure the examination was on a new component. service. they should be used on a X2.`.3. the operator technique.0001.NAGOYA related to 3944000/3944000013 No reproduction or networking permitted without license from IHS Not for Resale. Excess oil shall be wiped off so that the surface is information: virtually dry. thickness with and without the oil film and taking the differ. 9.1.3 National Institute for Standards and Technology Zinc 305 g/m2 [1 oz/ft2] 0. If.5 Type of instrument calibration and/or standardization. eddy current probes. it is 11. If a magnetic instrument is to be used in a making measurements. or refurbished component. is limited by surface profile and formation of an alloy between Copyright ASTM International 4 Provided by IHS under license with ASTM Licensee=MHI . same operator who will make the measurement or by using constant pressure probes.. 8.1. Precision and Bias pressure probe is not being used.2 The measurement accuracy for hot-dip zinc coatings nonmagnetic work surface.````.. The correction may be determined by measuring 9.6 Frequency(ies) used.1 The instrument. probe perpendicular to the specimen surface at the point of whichever is the greater.`.3.1 Some coatings are specified by weight per unit area the zinc and the steel substrate.9 Techniques—The readings obtained may depend on 9. the coating thickness of a nonsticking coating of appropriate 9.1.. 01/07/2008 22:23:52 MST .8 Results of examinations.```.`. such effects either by having the instrument calibrated by the 9.2 Instrument and probe identification. will vary from one individual to another.. Report readings and correct the measurement for the thickness of the 9. For some instruments of the attractive force type. on a smooth nondestructive testing APPENDIXES (Nonmandatory Information) X1.`--- is strongly recommended. horizontal or upside-down position. attractive force type may stick to lead and lead alloy coatings. Usually an accuracy of better instead of thickness..1 coating thickness. Apply a very thin film of oil to improve the reproducibility of 9. With some instruments. the pressure applied to a 9. component from with other coatings. and its operation shall --`.. this is essential.. it is probable that the probe is worn and needs to as flux. Keywords desirable to tilt the probe slightly and select the angle of 11. In appropriate cases when a constant 10.7 Examination procedure identification. others are listed in the Index to ASTM Standards. should be avoided in be replaced.1. and oxide.. inclination giving the minimum reading. Typical examples are shown below: than 615 % can be obtained with magnetic gages.7 mils] Tin 11.8 Lead Coatings—The magnet of an instrument of the tion. (See exceptions in Appendix X2. however... ASTM STANDARDS COVERING MAGNETIC AND EDDY CURRENT THICKNESS GAGES There are several other ASTM standards covering other methods of measuring coating thickness..00006 in.3 Identification of components and indication whether ence between the two measurements. or the rate of applying a balancing force to a magnet. Areas on specimens surface. or 60.5 µm.0015 mm [0.4 Material(s) of the coating(s) and substrate.1.1 An examination report should contain the following oil film.`. acid spots.0017 in.`.] (NIST) Certified Standards should not be removed from the card on which they are mounted.-`-`. Some are listed in Section 2.3.) measurement. E 376 – 06 without removing any coating material.. the readings obtained vary substantially with the angle having visible contamination that are difficult to remove such of inclination. probe.1. Coating Metal Customary Unit Equivalent Thickness X2. its calibration. Reduce or minimize 9. or 1. 9. dross. calibrate it for that posi- 8.0 g/m2[1 lb/base box] 0. X2. For example.1. be such that the coating thickness can be determined within 8. magnetic field. SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS X2. place the instrument 610 % of its true thickness or to within 62.1 Date and name of operator. the use of a measuring stand 10..

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