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SSPC-PA 2

May 1, 2012
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SSPC: THE SOCIETY FOR PROTECTIVE COATINGS
COATING APPLICATION STANDARD NO. 2
PROCEDURE FOR DETERMINING CONFORMANCE TO
DRY COATING THICKNESS REQUIREMENTS
1.6 This standard is not intended to be used for measure-
ment of thermal spray coatings. The thickness measurement
procedures for these coatings are described in SSPC-CS
23.00
2
.
2. Referenced Standards
2.1 The latest issue, revision, or amendment of the refer-
enced standards in effect on the date of invitation to bid shall
govern unless otherwise specifed. Standards marked with an
asterisk (*) are referenced only in the Notes, which are not
requirements of this standard.
2.2 If there is a confict between the requirements of any
of the cited reference standards and this standard, the require-
ments of this standard shall prevail.
2.3 ASTM International Standard
3
D 7091 Standard Practice for Nondestructive Measure-
ment of Dry Film Thickness of Nonmagnetic
Coatings Applied to Ferrous Metals and
Nonmagnetic, Nonconductive Coatings Applied
to Non-Ferrous Metals (mandatory document)
2.4 SSPC: The Society for Protective Coatings
Standard:
* PA Guide 11 Protecting Edges, Crevices, and Irreg-
ular Steel Surfaces by Stripe Coating
3. DEFINITIONS
3.1 Gage Reading: A single instrument reading.
3.2 Spot Measurement: The average of three, or at least
three gage readings made within a 1.5-inch (approximately
4-centimeter [~4-cm]) diameter circle. Acquisition of more than
three gage readings within a spot is permitted. Any unusually
2
CS 23.00/AWS C2.23M/NACE No. 12, Specifcation for the Applica-
tion of Thermal Spray Coatings (Metallizing) of Aluminum, Zinc, and
Their Alloys and Composites for the Corrosion Protection of Steel is
available online at <http://www.sspc.org/marketplace>
3
ASTM International, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken,
PA 19428-2959. For referenced ASTM standards, visit the ASTM
website, www.astm.org, or contact ASTM Customer Service at
service@astm.org. For Annual Book of ASTM Standards volume
information, refer to the standard’s Document Summary page on the
ASTM website.
1. Scope
1.1 This standard describes a procedure for determining
shop or feld conformance to a specifed coating dry flm thick-
ness (DFT) range on ferrous and non-ferrous metal substrates
using nondestructive coating thickness gages (magnetic and
electronic) described in ASTM D 7091.
1.2 The procedures for adjustment and measurement
acquisition for two types of gages: “magnetic pull-off” (Type 1)
and “electronic” (Type 2) are described in ASTM D 7091.
1.3 This standard defnes a procedure to determine
whether dry coatings conform to the minimum and the
maximum thickness specifed. See Note 11.1 for an example
of a possible modifcation when measuring dry flm thickness
on overcoated surfaces.
1.4 This document is not intended to prescribe a
frequency of coating thickness measurement for a coating
failure investigation
1.
1.5 This document contains the following non-mandatory
appendices:

Appendix 1 - Numerical Example of Average Thickness
Measurement
Appendix 2 - Methods for Measuring Dry Film Thickness
on Steel Beams (Girders)
Appendix 3 - Methods for Measuring Dry Film Thickness
for a Laydown of Beams, Structural Steel, and Miscellaneous
Parts after Shop Coating
Appendix 4 - Method for Measuring Dry Film Thickness
on Coated Steel Test Panels
Appendix 5 - Method for Measuring Dry Film Thickness
of Thin Coatings on Coated Steel Test Panels that Have Been
Abrasive Blast Cleaned
Appendix 6 – Method for Measuring the Dry Film Thick-
ness of Coatings on Edges
Appendix 7 – Method for Measuring Dry Film Thickness
on Coated Steel Pipe Exterior
Appendix 8 – Examples of the Adjustment of Type 2
Gages Using Shims

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The number and location of measurements during a coating failure
investigation may be more or less frequent than described by this
standard.
SSPC-PA 2
May 1, 2012
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high or low gage readings that are not repeated consistently
are discarded. The average of the acceptable gage readings is
the spot measurement.
3.3 Area Measurement: The average of fve spot
measurements obtained over each 100 ft
2
(~10 m
2
) of coated
surface.
4. Description of Gages
4.1 Gage Types: The gage type is determined by the
operating principal employed in measuring the thickness and
is not determined by the mode of data readout, i.e. digital or
analog.
4.1.1 Type 1 – Magnetic Pull-Off Gages: In magnetic
pull-off gages, a permanent magnet is brought into direct
contact with the coated surface. The force necessary to pull
the magnet from the surface is measured and interpreted
as the coating thickness value on a scale or display on the
gage. Less force is required to remove the magnet from a thick
coating. The scale is nonlinear.
4.1.2 Type 2 – Electronic Gages: An electronic gage
uses electronic circuitry to convert a reference signal into
coating thickness.
5. Calibration and Verifcation of Accuracy
5.1 ASTM D 7091 describes three operational steps
necessary to ensure accurate coating thickness measurement:
calibration, verifcation and adjustment of coating thickness
measuring gages, as well as proper methods for obtaining
coating thickness measurements on both ferrous and non-
ferrous metal substrates. These steps shall be completed
before taking coating thickness measurements to determine
conformance to a specifed coating thickness range.
5.2 Gages shall be calibrated by the manufacturer or
a qualifed laboratory. A Certifcate of Calibration or other
documentation showing traceability to a national metrology
institution is required. There is no standard time interval for
re-calibration, nor is one absolutely required. Calibration inter-
vals are usually established based upon experience and the
work environment. A one-year calibration interval is a typical
starting point suggested by gage manufacturers.
5.3 To guard against measuring with an inaccurate gage,
gage accuracy shall be verifed at a minimum of the begin-
ning and end of each work shift according to the procedures
described in ASTM D 7091. The user is advised to verify gage
accuracy during measurement acquisition (e.g., hourly) when
a large number of measurements are being obtained. If the
gage is dropped or suspected of giving erroneous readings
during the work shift, its accuracy shall be rechecked.

5.4 Record the serial number of the gage, the reference
standard used, the stated thickness of the reference standard
as well as the measured thickness value obtained, and the
method used to verify gage accuracy. If the same gage, refer-
ence standard, and method of verifcation are used throughout
a job, they need to be recorded only once. The stated value of
the standard and the measured value must be recorded each
time accuracy is verifed.
5.5 If the gage fails the post-measurement accuracy
verifcation check, all measurements acquired since the
last accuracy verifcation check are suspect. In the event of
physical damage, wear, or high usage, or after an established
calibration interval, the gage shall be rechecked for accuracy
of measurement. If the gage is not measuring accurately, it
shall not be used until it is repaired and/or recalibrated (usually
by the gage manufacturer).
5.6 Type 1 gages have nonlinear scales and any adjusting
feature is linear in nature. Any adjustment of these gages will
limit the DFT range for which the gage will provide accurate
readings; therefore adjustment of the gage is not recom-
mended. Furthermore, the application of a single “correction
value” representing the full range of the gage to compensate
for a gage that is not measuring accurately is not appropriate,
since the correction will also be non-linear.
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6. Measurement Procedure - Type 1 Gages
6.1 Type 1 gage accuracy is verifed using smooth test
blocks. In order to compensate for any effect of the substrate
itself and surface roughness, obtain measurements from the
bare, prepared substrate at a minimum of ten (10) locations
(arbitrarily spaced) and calculate the average value. This value
represents the effect of the substrate/surface roughness on a
coating thickness gage. This average value is the base metal
reading (BMR). The gage shall not be adjusted to read zero on
the prepared, bare substrate.
6.2 Measure the DFT of the dry coating at the number of
spots specifed in Section 8.
6.3 Subtract the BMR from the gage reading to obtain the
thickness of the coating.
7. MEASUREMENT PROCEDURE - TYPE 2 GAGES
7.1 The manufacturers of Type 2 (electronic) gages
prescribe different methods of adjustment to measure dry flm
thickness over abrasive blast cleaned surfaces. Adjust the
gage according to the manufacturers instructions using one of
the methods described in ASTM D 7091 or Appendix 8 of this
standard.
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A correction curve can be prepared by plotting the actual gage
readings against the stated values on the calibration test blocks.
Subsequent coating thickness measurements can be “corrected” by
plotting the measurements along the correction curve. The correc-
tion curve may or may not cover the full range of the gage, but should
cover the intended range of use. The Base Metal Readings (BMR)
described in 6.1 may also need to be plotted on the correction curve.
SSPC-PA 2
May 1, 2012
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7.2 Measure the DFT of the dry coating at the number of
spots specifed in Section 8.
8. Required Number of Measurements for
Conformance to a Thickness Specifcation
8.1 Number of Measurements: Repeated gage read-
ings, even at points close together, often differ due to small
surface irregularities of the coating and the substrate. There-
fore, a minimum of three (3) gage readings shall be made for
each spot measurement of the coating. For each new gage
reading, move the probe to a new location within the 1.5 inch
(4-cm) diameter circle defning the spot. Discard any unusually
high or low gage readings that are not repeated consistently.
The average of the acceptable gage readings is the spot
measurement.
8.2 Unless otherwise specifed in the procurement docu-
ments (project specifcation), an area measurement is obtained
by taking fve (5) separate spot measurements (average of the
gage readings described in 8.1) randomly spaced throughout
each 100 ft
2
(~10-m
2
) area to be measured and representative
of the coated surface. The fve spot measurements shall be
made for each 100 ft
2
(~10-m
2
) of area as follows:
8.2.1 For areas of coating not exceeding 300 ft
2
(~30 m
2
)
arbitrarily select and measure each 100 ft
2
(~10-m
2
) area.
8.2.2 For areas of coating greater than 300 ft
2
(~30 m
2
)
and not exceeding 1,000 ft
2
(~100 m
2
), arbitrarily select and
measure three 100 ft
2
(~10-m
2
) areas.
8.2.3 For areas of coating exceeding 1,000 ft
2
(~100 m
2
),
arbitrarily select and measure the frst 100 m
2
(~1,000 ft
2
) as
stated in Section 8.2.2. For each additional 1,000 ft
2
(~100
m
2
) coated area (or increment thereof), arbitrarily select and
measure one additional 100 ft
2
(~10-m
2
) area.
8.2.4 If the coating thickness for any 100 ft
2
(~10-m
2
)
area is not in compliance with the contract documents, the
procedure described below shall be followed to assess the
magnitude of the nonconforming thickness.
8.2.4.1 Determine the spot DFT at 5-ft (1.5-m) intervals
in eight equally spaced directions radiating outward from the
nonconforming 100 ft
2
(~10-m
2
) area as shown in Figure 1.
If there is no place to measure in a given direction, then
no measurement in that direction is necessary. Acquire spot
measurements in each direction (up to the maximum surface
area coated during the work shift) until two consecutive
conforming spot measurements are acquired in that direction
or until no additional measurements can be made. Accept-
able spot measurements are defned by the minimum and
maximum values in the contract documents. No allowance is
made for variant spot measurements as is the practice when
determining the area DFT.
8.2.4.1.1 On complex structures or in other cases where
making multiple spot measurements at 5-ft (1.5-m) intervals is
not practical, single spot measurements shall be performed on
repeating structural units or elements of structural units. This
method shall be used when the largest dimension of the unit
is less than 10 ft (3 m). Make single spot measurements on
repeating structural units or elements of structural units until
spot measurements on two consecutive units in each direction
are conforming or until there are no more units to test.
8.2.4.2 Non-compliant areas shall be demarcated using
removable chalk or other specifed marking material and docu-
mented. All of the area within 5 ft (1.5 m) of any non-compliant
spot measurement shall be designated as non-compliant.
For a given measurement direction or unit measurement,
any compliant area or unit preceding a non-compliant area or
unit shall be designated as suspect, and as such is subject to
re-inspection after corrective measures are performed.
8.2.5 Appendices 2 through 7 provide specifers with
optional alternatives for defning the area size as well as the
number and frequency of spot measurements to include in
project specifcations as appropriate for the size and shape of
the item or structure to be coated.
9. Conformance to Specifed Thickness
9.1 A minimum and a maximum thickness are normally
specifed for each layer of coating. If a single thickness value
is specifed and the coating manufacturer does not provide
a recommended range of thickness, then the minimum and
maximum thickness for each coating layer shall be +/- 20% of
the stated value.
9.2 Table 1 provides fve thickness restriction levels. Level
1 is the most restrictive and does not allow for any deviation
of spot or area measurements from the specifed minimum
and maximum thickness, while Level 5 is the least restrictive.
Depending on the coating type and the prevailing service envi-
ronment, the specifer selects the dry flm thickness restriction
level for a given project. If no restriction level is specifed, then
Level 3 is the default. It is possible to specify a maximum thick-
ness threshold for Level 5 Spot or Area measurements for
some generic product types and service environments.
9.3 For the purpose of fnal acceptance of the total dry
flm thickness, the cumulative thickness of all coating layers
NONCONFORMING
AREA
FIGURE 1
RADIATING SPOT MEASUREMENTS TO DETERMINE
EXTENT OF NONCONFORMING AREA
SSPC-PA 2
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shall be no less than the cumulative minimum specifed thick-
ness and no greater than the cumulative maximum specifed
thickness.
10. Disclaimer
10.1 While every precaution is taken to ensure that all
information furnished in SSPC standards and specifcations is
as accurate, complete, and useful as possible, SSPC cannot
assume responsibility nor incur any obligation resulting from
the use of any materials, coatings or methods specifed therein,
or of the specifcation or standard itself.
10.2 This standard does not attempt to address prob-
lems concerning safety associated with its use. The user of
this standard, as well as the user of all products or practices
described herein, is responsible for instituting appropriate
health and safety practices and for ensuring compliance with
all governmental regulations.
11. Notes
Notes are not requirements of this standard.
11.1 Overcoating: Maintenance painting often involves
application of a new coating over an existing coating system.
It can be very diffcult to accurately measure the DFT of this
newly applied coating using non-destructive methods. First,
access to the profle is not available, compromising the accu-
racy of the BMR or the adjustment of a Type 2 gage. Second,
unevenness in the DFT of the existing coating necessitates
careful mapping of the “before and after” DFT readings. This
unevenness also adds to the statistical variation in trying to
establish a base DFT reading to be subtracted from the fnal
DFT.
A paint inspection gage (sometimes called a Tooke or PIG
gage) will give accurate DFT measurements, but it requires
that an incision be made through the coating (overcoat only
or total system), so each measurement site will require repair.
A practical approach to monitoring DFT (when overcoating)
is to compute the DFT using wet flm thickness (WFT) read-
ings, the percent volume solids of the coating being applied,
and any thinner addition as shown below.
DFT = Measured WFT x % Volume Solids,
or
DFT = Measured WFT x % volume
solids ÷ (100% + % thinner added)

If the DFT of the existing coating is not too uneven or
eroded, the average DFT of the existing coating can be
measured per this standard to establish a base DFT. This base
DFT can then be subtracted from the total DFT to isolate the
thickness of the overcoat(s).
11.2 Correcting for Low or High Thickness: The speci-
fer should specifcally state the methodology to correct the
applied dry flm for low or high thickness. If this information
is not contained in the specifcation, then the manufacturer’s
instructions should be followed.

APPENDIX 1 - Numerical Example of Average
Thickness Measurement
Appendix 1 is not a mandatory part of this standard.
The following numerical example is presented as an illus-
tration of Section 8. Metric values are calculated equivalents
from U.S. Customary measurements (reference Journal of
Protective Coatings and Linings, Vol. 4, No 5, May 1987). The
example is based on a Level 3 Restriction (default).
TABLE 1
COATING THICKNESS RESTRICTION LEVELS
Thickness Gage Reading
Spot
Measurement
Area Measurement
Level 1
Minimum Unrestricted As specifed As specifed
Maximum Unrestricted As specifed As specifed
Level 2
Minimum Unrestricted As specifed As specifed
Maximum Unrestricted 120% of maximum As specifed
Level 3
Minimum Unrestricted 80% of minimum As specifed
Maximum Unrestricted 120% of maximum As specifed
Level 4
Minimum Unrestricted 80% of minimum As specifed
Maximum Unrestricted 150% of maximum As specifed
Level 5
Minimum Unrestricted 80% of minimum As specifed
Maximum Unrestricted Unrestricted Unrestricted
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Suppose this structure is 300 ft
2
(~30 m
2
) in area. Mentally
divide the surface into three equal parts, each being about 100
ft
2
(~10 m
2
).

Part A - 100 ft
2
(~10 m
2
)
Part B - 100 ft
2
(~10 m
2
)
Part C - 100 ft
2
(~10 m
2
)
First, measure the coating thickness on Part A. This
involves at least 15 gage readings with a Type 1 or Type 2
device (see Figure A1). Assume the specifcation calls for
2.5 mils (~64 micrometers [µm]) minimum thickness. The
coating thickness for area A is then the average of the fve
spot measurements made on area A, namely 2.6 mils (65.4
µm).
Spot 1 2.5 mils 64 µm
Spot 2 3.0 76
Spot 3 2.1 53
Spot 4 3.0 76
Spot 5 2.3 58
Average 2.6 mils 65.4 µm
Considering the U.S. Customary Measurements:
The average, 2.6 mils, exceeds the specifed minimum of 2.5
mils and thus satisfes the specifcation. Next, determine if
the lowest spot measurement, 2.1 mils, is within 80% of the
specifed minimum thickness. Eighty percent of 2.5 mils is 2.0
mils (0.80 x 2.5 = 2.0). Although 2.1 mils is below the specifed
minimum, it is still within 80 percent of it, so the specifcation is
satisfed. There are individual gage readings of 1.5 mils at Spot
5 and 1.8 mils at Spot 3, both of which are clearly less than
2.0 mils. This is allowed because only the average of the three
readings (i.e. the spot measurement) must be greater than or
equal to 2.0 mils.
Considering Equivalent Metric Measurements: The
average, 65.4 µm, exceeds the specifed minimum of 64 µm
and thus satisfes the specifcation. Next, determine if the
lowest spot measurement, 53 µm, is within 80% of the speci-
fed minimum thickness. Eighty percent of 64 µm is 51 µm (0.80
x 64 = 51). Although 53 µm is below the specifed minimum, it
is still within 80% of it so the specifcation is satisfed. There
are individual gage readings of 38 µm (1.5 mils) at spot 5 and
46 µm (1.8 mils) at spot 3, both of which are clearly less than
51 µm. This is allowed because only the average of the three
readings (i.e., the spot measurement) must be greater than or
equal to 51 µm.
Since the structure used in this example is 300 ft
2

(approximately 30 m
2
), the procedure used to measure the flm
thickness of part A must be applied to both part B and part C.
The measured thickness of part B must exceed the (64 µm)
specifed minimum, as must the thickness of part C.
FIGURE A1
PART “A” OF STRUCTURE
(AREA 100 FT
2
[APPROXIMATELY 10 M
2
])

10 ft
10 ft Part “B”
Spot 1
2.6
3.0
2.0
Avg. 2.5
1.5 inch
1.8
2.2
2.3
Avg. 2.1
Spot 3
3.6
2.6
2.7
Avg. 3.0
Spot 2
Spot 4
2.6
3.2
3.1
Avg. 3.0
Spot 5 1.5
2.8
2.6
Avg. 2.3
GAGE READINGS
SSPC-PA 2
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To monitor the thickness of this entire 300-ft
2
(approxi-
mately 30-m
2
), structure, at least 45 individual gage readings
must be taken, from which 15 spot measurements are calcu-
lated. The fve spot measurements from each 100 ft
2
(10-m
2
)
part of the structure are used to calculate the thickness of that
part.
APPENDIX 2 - Methods for Measuring Dry Film
Thickness on Steel Beams (Girders)
Appendix 2 is not a mandatory part of this standard, but it
provides two sample protocols for measuring DFT on beams
and girders.
A2.1 A challenge for the painter in coating steel beams or
girders is providing the same uniform thickness over high and
low vertical surfaces as over horizontal surfaces. On a beam,
there are proportionately more edges that tend to have low dry
flm thickness (DFT) and inside corners that tend to have high
DFT compared to the center of the fat surfaces. Each painter
usually develops a pattern of work for a specifc task. Hence,
the DFT on the underside of the top fange, for example, may
be consistently on the high side or the low side of the target
DFT. This type of error is easy to detect and correct. Random
errors pose a more diffcult problem. Gross errors where the
paint is obviously too thin or too thick must be corrected and
are beyond the scope of this standard.
The number of spot measurements in these protocols
may far exceed the “5 spot measurement per 100 ft
2
(10 m
2
)”
required in the standard. The full DFT determination, described
in Section A3.2, provides a very thorough inspection of the
beam. The sample DFT determination, described in Section
A3.4, allows for fewer spot measurements. The user does not
have to require a full DFT determination for every beam in the
structure. For example, the requirement may be for a full DFT
determination on one beam out of ten, or a sample DFT deter-
mination on one beam out of fve, or a combination of full and
sample DFT determinations. Note that for existing structures,
the top side of the top fange (Surface 1) may not be accessible
for measuring coating thickness.
A beam has twelve different surfaces as shown in Figure
A2. Any one of these surfaces may have a DFT outside the
specifed range, and hence, shall be measured. If the thick-
ness of the fange is less than 1 inch (25 mm), the contracting
parties may choose not to measure the DFT on the toe, i.e.,
surfaces 2, 6, 8, and 12 of Figure A2. As an informal initial
survey, the inspector may want to check for uniformity of DFT
across each surface. Is the DFT of the fange near the fllet the
same as near the toe? Is the DFT uniform across the web? The
inspector must be sure to use a gage that is not susceptible
to edge effects. Follow the gage manufacturer’s instructions
when measuring the edges.
A2.2 Full DFT Determination of a Beam: Divide the
beam or girder into fve equal sections along its length. Identify
the 12 surfaces of the beam as shown in Figure A2 for each
section. For tall beams where the height of the beam is 36
inches (91 cm) or more, divide the web in half along the length
of the beam. For the full DFT determination, each half of the
web is considered a separate surface. Take one spot measure-
ment (as defned in Section 8.1) on surface 1 in each of the fve
sections. The location of the surface 1 measurement within a
section is arbitrarily chosen by the inspector in each of the fve
sections. The average of these fve spot measurements is the
FIGURE A2
THE SURFACES OF A STEEL BEAM
(36 in [91 cm] in height)














1
8
9
7

Less than 36 inches (91 cm) in height
12 Spots
5
2
10

6
4
3
11
Top Flange
12
Fillet
Bottom Flange
Web
Toe
36 inches (91 cm) in height or greater
14 Spots
1
5
2
10b
bbb
10t
8 6
4b
9
4t
7
3
11
12
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DFT of surface 1. Repeat for the other 11 surfaces (7 surfaces
if the toe is not measured; 14 surfaces for tall beams). The data
can be reported in a format shown in Table A2.
A2.3 If Coating Thickness Restriction Level 3 is invoked
by the specifcation (or if no Restriction Level is invoked by
the specifcation), then no single spot measurement can be
less than 80% of the specifed minimum DFT, and no single
spot measurement can be more than 120% of the specifed
maximum DFT. The average value for each surface must
conform to the specifed DFT. (There will be only eight average
values if the DFT of the toe is not measured; there may be as
many as 14 average values for beams greater than 36 inches
in height.)
A2.4 SAMPLE DFT DETERMINATION OF A BEAM: In
lieu of a full DFT determination of each beam, the job speci-
fcation may require only a sample DFT determination for
selected beams less than 60 ft (18 m) long. For a sample DFT
determination, the web of beams less than 36 inches (91 cm)
in height is not split.
A2.4.1 Beams less than 6 m (20 ft) in length: For beams
less than 20 ft (6 m) in length, take two spot measurements,
randomly distributed, on each of the 12 surfaces (8 surfaces if
the toe is not measured) of the beam as defned in Figure A2.
Each spot measurement must conform to the specifed DFT.
A2.4.2 Beams 20 ft (6 m) up to 60 ft (18 m) in length:
For beams 20 ft (6 m) up to 60 ft (18 m) in length, take three
spot measurements, randomly distributed, on each of the 12
surfaces (8 surfaces if the toe is not measured) of the beam as
defned in Figure A2. Each spot measurement must conform to
the specifed DFT.
A2.5 NON-CONFORMANCE: If any spot measurement
falls outside the specifed range, additional measurements
may be made to defne the non-conforming area.
TABLE A2.1 – NUMBER OF SPOT MEASUREMENTS NEEDED
ON EACH SURFACE OF A BEAM FOR A FULL OR A SAMPLE DFT DETERMINATION
Number of Spot Measurements per Surface
Length of Beam Full DFT Determination* Sample DFT Determination
less than 20 ft (6 m) 5 2
from 20 to 60 ft (6 to 18 m) 5 3
over 60 ft (18 m) 5 NA
* For beams 36 inches (91 cm) or more, the top half and the bottom half of the web are treated as separate surfaces in a full DFT determination.
TABLE A2
DATASHEET FOR RECORDING SPOT MEASUREMENTS AND
AVERAGE DFT VALUES FOR THE 12 SURFACES OF A BEAM OR GIRDER
Spot Measurements of DFT on Beam # _______________
Surface Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5 Average
1
2
3
4t
4b
5
6
7
8
9
10t
10b
11
12
t = top half of web (for beams equal to or greater than 36 in [91 cm] in height)
b = bottom half of web (for beams equal to or greater than 36 in [91 cm] in height)
SSPC-PA 2
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A2.6 RESTRICTED ACCESS: If the beam is situated
such that one or more of the surfaces are not accessible, take
measurements on each accessible surface in accordance with
Section A2.2 or Section A2.4 through A2.4.2, as specifed.

A2.7 ATTACHMENTS: Stiffeners and other attachments
to a beam shall be arbitrarily measured.
APPENDIX 3 - Methods for Measuring Dry Film
Thickness for a Laydown of Beams, Structural Steel,
and Miscellaneous Parts After Shop Coating
Appendix 3 is not a mandatory part of this standard, but
it provides two sample protocols for measuring DFT for a
laydown.
A3.1 GENERAL: A “laydown” is a group of steel members
laid down to be painted in one shift by one painter. For inspec-
tion of a laydown, frst make a visual survey to detect areas
with obvious defects, such as poor coverage, and correct as
necessary. As an informal initial survey, the inspector may
want to check for uniformity of DFT across each surface.
A3.2 FULL DFT DETERMINATION
A3.2.1 Beam (Girder): Follow the procedure described in
Section A2.2.
A3.2.2 Miscellaneous Parts: Take 1 spot measurement
(as defned in Section 8.1) on each surface of the part. If the
part has fewer than 5 surfaces, take multiple spot measure-
ments on the larger surfaces to bring the total to 5. If the total
area of the part is over 100 ft
2
(10 m
2
), take 5 spot measure-
ments randomly distributed over the part for each 100 ft
2
(10
m
2
), or fraction thereof.
A3.3 If Coating Thickness Restriction Level 3 is invoked
by the specifcation (or if no Restriction Level is invoked by
the specifcation), then no single spot measurement can be
less than 80% of the specifed minimum DFT, and no single
spot measurement can be more than 120% of the specifed
maximum DFT. The average value of the spot measurements
on each surface must conform to the specifed DFT. If there is
only a single spot measurement on a surface, it must conform
to the specifed DFT.
A3.4 SAMPLE DFT DETERMINATION: In lieu of a full
DFT determination of each painted piece as described in
Section A2.2, the job specifcation may require only a sample
DFT determination for selected pieces.
A3.4.1 Beams less than 20 ft (6 m): Follow the procedure
described in Section A2.4.1.
A3.4.2 Beams greater than 20 ft (6 m): up to 60 ft (18 m)
in length: Follow the procedure described in Section A2.4.2.
A3.4.3 Miscellaneous parts: For a miscellaneous part,
take three spot measurements, randomly distributed on the
part. Each spot measurement must conform to the specifed
DFT.
A3.5 NON-CONFORMANCE: If any spot measurement
falls outside the specifed range, additional measurements
may be made to defne the non-conforming area.
A3.6 RESTRICTED ACCESS: If a beam or miscellaneous
part is situated such that one or more of the surfaces are not
accessible, take measurements on each accessible surface in
accordance with Section A2.2 or Section A2.4, as specifed.
A3.7 NUMBER OF BEAMS OR PARTS TO MEASURE:
In a laydown, the number of beams or parts to receive a full
DFT determination and the number to have a sample DFT
determination can be specifed. For example, do a full DFT
determination on a piece painted near the beginning of the
shift, near the middle of the shift, and near the end of the shift
in accordance with Section A3.2; and perform a sample DFT
determination on every third piece in accordance with Section
A3.4.
A3.8 ATTACHMENTS: Stiffeners and other attachments
to a beam shall be arbitrarily measured.

APPENDIX 4 - Method for Measuring Dry Film Thick-
ness on Coated Steel Test Panels
Appendix 4 is not a mandatory part of this standard, but it
provides a sample protocol for measuring DFT on coated steel
test panels.
A4.1 PANEL SIZE: The test panel shall have a minimum
area of 18 in
2
(116 cm
2
) and a maximum area of 144 in
2

(930 cm
2
); e.g., minimum 3 x 6 inch (7.5 x 15 cm) and maximum
12 x 12 inch (30 x 30 cm).
A4.2 PROCEDURE: Use a Type 2 electronic gage. Take
two spot readings from the top third, the middle third, and the
bottom third of the test panel. Readings shall be taken at least
½ inch (12 mm) from any edge and 1 inch (25 mm) from any
other spot reading. Discard any unusually high or low gage
reading that cannot be repeated consistently. The DFT of the
test panel is the average of the six acceptable spot readings.
A4.3 MINIMUM THICKNESS: The average of the accept-
able spot readings shall be no less than the specifed minimum
thickness. No single spot reading shall be less than 80% of the
specifed minimum.
A4.4 MAXIMUM THICKNESS: The average of the
acceptable spot readings shall be no more than the specifed
maximum thickness. No single spot reading shall be more than
120% of the specifed maximum.
A4.5 REJECTION: If a spot reading is less than 80% of
the specifed minimum DFT or exceeds 120% of the speci-
fed maximum DFT, additional measurements may be made
to reevaluate the DFT on the area of the test panel near the
SSPC-PA 2
May 1, 2012
9
low or high spot reading. If the additional measurements indi-
cate the DFT in the disputed area of the panel to be below
the minimum or above the maximum allowable DFT, the panel
shall be rejected.
APPENDIX 5 - Method for Measuring Dry Film Thick-
ness of Thin Coatings on Coated Steel Test Panels
that have been Abrasive Blast Cleaned
Appendix 5 is not a mandatory part of this standard, but
it provides a sample protocol for measuring DFT of thin coat-
ings on coated steel test panels that had been abrasive blast
cleaned.
A5.1 For the purposes of this standard, a coating is
defned as thin if the dry flm thickness (DFT) is on the order of
1 mil (25 µm) or less. Because the DFT is the same order as
the statistical fuctuations of a DFT gage on bare blast cleaned
steel, many gage readings must be taken to get a meaningful
average.
A5.2 PANEL SIZE: The test panel shall have a minimum
area of 18 in
2
(116 cm
2
) and a maximum area of 144 in
2

(930 cm
2
); e.g., minimum 3 x 6 inch (7.5 x 15 cm) and maximum
12 x 12 inch (30 x 30 cm).
A5.3 PROCEDURE: Use a properly adjusted Type 2
electronic gage. Take ten gage readings randomly distributed
in the top third of the panel. Compute the mean (average)
and standard deviation of these ten readings. Similarly, take
ten readings from the middle third and ten readings from the
bottom third of the test panel and compute their means and
standard deviations. Readings shall be taken at least ½ inch
(12 mm) from any edge and 1 inch (25 mm) from any other
gage reading. Discard any unusually high or low gage reading,
i.e., a reading that is more than three standard deviations from
the mean. The DFT of the test panel is the average of the three
means.
A5.4 MINIMUM THICKNESS: The average of the means
shall be no less than the specifed minimum thickness. No
single mean shall be less than 80% of the specifed minimum.
A5.5 MAXIMUM THICKNESS: The average of the means
shall be no more than the specifed maximum thickness.
No single mean shall be more than 120% of the specifed
maximum.
APPENDIX 6 - Method for Measuring fhe Dry Film
Thickness of Coatings on Edges
Appendix 6 is not a mandatory part of this standard, but it
provides a sample protocol for measuring DFT of coatings on
edges.
A6.1 Type 2 gage manufacturers offer a variety of probe
confgurations, some of which are less affected by proximity
to edges and are designed to better measure the thickness of
coatings on edges. The user should consult the gage manu-
facturer’s instructions before measuring coating thickness on
edges. SSPC-PA Guide 11 describes the use of coatings with
edge retention properties and references a method (MIL-PRF-
23236D) for assessing edge retention properties of coatings.
A6.2 Prior to measurement of coating on edges, the gage
and probe should be verifed for accuracy by placing a thin,
fexible shim onto the prepared, uncoated edge. Adjustments
to the gage may or may not be required. This procedure also
verifes that the probe confguration will accommodate the
edge confguration prior to coating thickness data acquisition.
A6.3 Obtain a minimum of three gage readings within 1.5
linear inches (~4 linear cm) of coated edge. The average of
the gage readings is considered a spot reading. The number of
spot readings along the edge will vary depending on the total
length of the coated edge.
APPENDIX 7 – Method for Measuring Dry Film
Thickness on Coated Steel Pipe Exterior
Appendix 7 is not a mandatory part of this standard, but it
provides a sample protocol for measuring DFT of the exterior
of coated pipe.
A7.1 Pipe sections that are loaded onto a cart or rack
are considered a complete unit, as opposed to a single joint
of pipe. The total number of spot and area measurements is
based on the total square footage of pipe on the cart or rack.
The square footage can be calculated using the formula below:
Area = (length of each pipe x circumference) x number of pipe
sections on cart or rack
A7.2 Some carts may have several small items that could
exceed the number of spot DFT readings required based on
TABLE A7
NUMBER AND LOCATIONS OF SPOT MEASUREMENTS – PIPE SPOOLS
Pipe Diameter Circumferential Spot Measurements Interval Spacing
Up to 12 in (30 cm) 4 evenly spaced 10 feet (3 meters) apart
14 to 24 inches (36-60 cm) 6 evenly spaced 10 feet (3 meters) apart
Greater than 24 inches (60 cm) 8 evenly spaced 10 feet (3 meters) apart
SSPC-PA 2
May 1, 2012
10
total square footage. In this case, the Owner/Contractor may
select a Pipe DFT frequency Level shown below:
A7.2.1 Pipe DFT Level 1 Area = (length of each pipe x
circumference) x no. of pipe sections on cart or rack = (number
of spot measurements) x 2
A7.2.2 Pipe DFT Level 2 Area = (length of each pipe x
circumference) x no. of pipe sections on cart or rack = (number
of spot measurements) x 3
A7.2.3 Pipe DFT Level 3 Area = (length of each pipe x
circumference) x no. of pipe sections on cart or rack = (number
of spot measurements) x 4
A7.2.4 Pipe DFT Level 4 Area = (length of each pipe x
circumference) x no. of pipe sections on cart or rack = (number
of spot measurements) x 5
A7.2.5 Pipe DFT Level 5 Area = (length of each pipe x
circumference) x no. of pipe sections on cart or rack = (number
of spot measurements) x 6
A7.3 Pipe spools that are not loaded onto a rack or cart
are measured individually. The number and locations of spot
measurements are based on Table A7. Three sets of four
circumferential spot measurements should be obtained on
pipe spools less than 10 feet (3 meters) in length.
A7.4 A challenge for the painter in coating fabricated pipe
spools is providing a uniform thickness throughout the entire
surface. On a fabricated pipe spool, valves, fanges, and
elbows tend to have low or high DFTs when compared to the
straight run section. Painters may develop a pattern of work for
a specifc task. Hence, the DFT on the fange and valves may
be consistently on the high side or the low side of the target
DFT. This type of error is easy to detect and correct. Random
errors pose a more diffcult problem. Gross errors where the
paint is obviously too thin or too thick must be corrected and
are beyond the scope of this standard.
The number of spot measurements in this protocol may far
exceed the “5 spot measurement per 100 ft
2
(10 m
2
)” required
in the standard. The full DFT determination, described in Table
A7, provides a very thorough inspection of a joint of pipe. The
DFT determination, described in Section A7.1, may allow for
fewer spot measurements. The user does not have to require a
full DFT determination for every joint of pipe. For example, the
requirement may be for a full DFT determination on one pipe
out of ten, or a sample DFT determination on one pipe out of
fve, or a combination of full and sample DFT determinations.
APPENDIX 8 - Examples of the Adjustment of Type 2
Gages Using Shims
Appendix 8 does not form a mandatory part of this stan-
dard, but it provides examples of how to adjust Type 2 gages
using shims on roughened (e.g., abrasive blast cleaned)
surfaces.
This example describes a method of adjustment to
improve the effectiveness of a Type 2 (electronic) gage on a
blast cleaned or otherwise roughened surface. Blast cleaning
is used throughout this example, but these methods are appli-
cable to other types of surface preparation. A less uniform
surface, such as partially rusted hand tool cleaned steel, may
require more gage readings to achieve a satisfactory level of
statistical signifcance. Since gage operation differs among
manufacturers, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for
adjustment of a particular gage.
A Type 2 gage needs to be adjusted to account for the
profle of the substrate in order to read the coating thickness
directly. Type 2 gages equipped with double pole probes
may provide greater measuring precision on rough surfaces
compared to single pole probes.
A portion of the substrate, after blast cleaning but prior
to coating, can be used to adjust the gage. Alternatively, an
uncoated test panel, blast cleaned at the time the structure
was blast cleaned and having a profle representative of the
structure can be used to adjust the gage provided the test
panel is of material with similar magnetic properties and geom-
etry as the substrate to be measured. If this is not available
then a correction value can be applied to a smooth surface
adjustment as described in A8.3.
Three adjustment techniques can be used depending
on the capability and features of the gage to be used for the
inspection. Note that due to the statistical variation produced
TABLE A8
TYPICAL GAGE CORRECTION VALUES USING ISO 8503 PROFILE GRADES
(SOURCE: ISO 19840)
1
ISO 8503 Profle Grade Correction Value (mil) Correction Value (µm)
Fine 0.4 10
Medium 1.0 25
Coarse 1.6 40
1
International Organization for Standardization (ISO), Case Postale 56, Geneva CH-1211, Switzerland. ISO standards
are available online from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), 1819 L Street, NW, Suite 600, Washington,
DC 20036 or at <http://www.ansi.org>
SSPC-PA 2
May 1, 2012
11
by a roughened surface, individual readings taken using these
three methods may not perfectly agree.
The frst two examples describe adjustment and verifca-
tion to one or more shims. When shims are used, resultant
gage measurements are less accurate and must be recalcu-
lated. For example, if the accuracy of a properly calibrated
gage is ± 2% and the thickness of a shim is accurate to within
± 3%, the combined tolerance of the gage and the shim will be
± 4% as given by the sum of squares formula:
√2
2
+ 3
2
= 3.6055 ≈ 4%
For the gage to be in agreement with the shim, the
average thickness measured by the gage must be within ±4%
of the shim’s thickness. If the average thickness measured on
a 250-µm (10-mil) shim is between 9.6 mils (240 µm) and 10.4
mils (260 µm), the gage is properly adjusted. The minimum
240 is 250 minus 4% of 250 (9.6 is 10 minus 4% of 10); the
maximum of 260 is 250 plus 4% of 250 (10.4 is 10 plus 4% of
10). [4% of 250 is 10; 4% of 10 is 0.4.]
A8.1 SINGLE POINT ADJUSTMENT: This example uses
a single shim value at or close to the thickness to be measured.
The thickness range over which this adjustment achieves the
required accuracy will vary with gage design.
Assuming that the coating thickness to be measured is 4.0
mil (100 µm) then a shim of approximately 4.0 mil (100 µm) or
slightly greater should be used to adjust the gage. The shim is
placed on an area of the substrate that has been blast cleaned
to the required standards, or on a blasted test coupon with a
similar surface profle.
The average of 10 readings on the shim is suffcient to
allow for the statistical variation in the blast profle.
A8.2 TWO POINT ADJUSTMENT: This example uses
two shim values, one above and one below the expected flm
thickness to be measured. It should be noted that not all flm
thickness gages can be adjusted in this manner.
Assuming that the coating thickness to be measured is
4.0 mil (100 µm) then shims of 10.0 mil (250 µm) and 2.0 mil
(50 µm) are appropriate for setting the upper and lower values
on the scale of the gage.
As protective coatings are normally applied to blast
cleaned metal surfaces, a statistical approach is required to
obtain a typical value for the adjustment. Ten readings on a
shim are suffcient to establish a reliable average value for that
shim on the roughened surface. Following the manufacturer’s
instructions, the gage is adjusted so that the actual shim thick-
ness is then used to set the gage.
This procedure should be repeated for both the upper and
lower shim values.
The average of 10 readings on an intermediate shim,
approximately 4.0 mil (100 µm) thick in the case described
above, will confrm that the gage has been adjusted correctly.
It is acceptable for the average reading to be within ± 4% of the
shim thickness.
This method ensures that the gage reads the thickness of
the coating over the peaks of the profle.
A8.3 SMOOTH SURFACE ADJUSTMENT: If access
to the bare blast cleaned substrate is not available because
the coating already covers it, a smooth surface can be used
to adjust the gage. Adjust the gage on a smooth surface
according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Alternatively,
it may be possible to adjust some Type 2 gages through the
coating already applied to an abrasive blast cleaned substrate
(may be necessary if no uncoated substrate exists). This
procedure should be performed according to the manufac-
turer’s instructions.
Readings taken on the blast-cleaned substrate will be
higher than the true value by an amount dependant on the
surface profle and the gage probe design. For most appli-
cations a correction value of 1.0 mil (25 µm) is generally
applicable. Note that this value is not related to the actual
surface profle measurement. This correction value must be
subtracted from each gage reading to correct for the effect
of the profle. The resulting corrected reading represents the
thickness of the coating over the peaks.
For fne profles the correction value may be as low as 0.4
mil (10 µm) but for coarse profles it could be as high as 1.6
mil (40 µm). Table A8 gives approximate correction values to
be used when a blast-cleaned surface is not available to adjust
the gage.
The use of coated standards to adjust gages means that
a correction value must be applied to readings, as the coated
standards make use of smooth substrate surfaces.
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