Thickness measuring systems using X-ray transmission can be installed In-Line, so that thickness trend changes can be monitored in real-time by the traversing X-ray head. First, the absorption coefficient is calculated from the master product, and then the relative thickness is measured by detecting the deviation of x-ray transmission, due to attenuation. Coating layers can be measured on adhesive tapes or coating layer on the coated film. Applications include film, metal foil, adhesive tape, nonwoven fabrics, various coated materials (coated layer thickness and total thickness), lithium-ion battery electrode materials.
Originally, x-ray fluorescence technology was developed to use as a measurement device. X-ray thickness gauging is effective for measuring penetration depths of coatings where other techniques were not. Over the years, the application reach of technology used for non-destructive testing has grown. However, XRF remains the ideal and most popular means for measuring coatings and thin films. Numerous facilities rely on this for critical quality control, including general plating shops and automotive, military and aerospace manufacturing plants.
Benefits of XRF for X-ray Thickness Gauging
- Timely and precise results
- A form of non-destructive analysis
- Multi-functional (variety of composition and layers)
- Quick to develop and store reports on functions
Coating thickness applications can potentially vary from simple, single-layer measurements to complex multi-layer coatings. For example, it is possible to evaluate a three-element composite coating on a transitional layer base material consisting of five elements. One example would be a stainless steel base covered with a composite of gold-copper-cadmium over nickel.
Common Applications and Coating Thicknesses
- A single coating (one metal coating over a substrate; for example: zinc or nickel over gold or copper)
- Binary composite coatings
- Multilayer coatings (substrate covered by several layers)
- A surface with composite coatings (analysis can also consist of the allowed coating)
- Measuring thin films
- Plating baths (solution analysis)
- ASTM standards/measurement methods (in some applications) ASTM B568 for coating measurements is a common standard, for example
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