If you are wondering how to take your industrial painting activities to the next level, read below as we present you the 10 instruments for first-class industrial painting.

When speaking about painting, many people think that paint is only used to make something look nice. There are three main benefits that can be obtained from this protective coating:

  • Preventing corrosion to expand longevity.
  • Providing fireproof capabilities to the asset.
  • Reducing energy consumption by means of reflective paints to keep buildings cool instead of using air conditioning.

Now, the question is: what instruments should anyone use to guarantee the benefits mentioned above?

Let us guide you through the 10 instruments for first-class industrial painting then.

1. Cross hatch testers

Cross hatch testers are instruments used to measure and verify the adhesion of the coating layers to the support and the adhesion between layers when several coating layers are applied.

This is essential for industrial painters and third-party laboratories to guarantee the quality and longevity of the protective coating. The better the paint adheres to the support, the better protection it can provide and the longer it will protect the asset.

With these instruments, the process is very straight forward. The head of the tester is position orthogonally on the tested sample and then moved in a sliding motion to track a grid on the coating.

The resulting status of the coating is then compared to an internationally acknowledge table to determine the grade of adhesion.

2. Pull-off adhesion tester

As we mentioned before, adhesion is a very important aspect for the quality and longevity of industrial painting.

Therefore, to take your industrial painting to the next level you need to test and ensure the adhesion is adequate. And the pull-off adhesion tester helps you do exactly that.

This instrument takes its name from the fact that it measures the force needed to pull the coating off the surface of the tested sample. This is done with a diameter specified by the test and by means of hydraulic pressure.

By evaluating pull-off strength of a coating, it is possible to determine the greatest tensile pull-off force that it can bear before detaching. It is also possible to identify breaking points, which are demonstrated by fractured surfaces. This usually occur along the weakest plane within the system consisting of dolly, adhesive, coating layers and substrate.

SAMA Tools supports you with a digital pull-off adhesion tester with the following features:

  • Simple and portable with a built-in rechargeable lithium battery.
  • High accuracy for optimized results.
  • Increased versatility for a higher efficiency.
  • Sturdy and resistant.

3. Coating bend testers

Another important aspect for achieving a first-class industrial painting is determining the crack resistance and the stripping performance of the coating. And this can be done with a coating bend tester.

These instruments are very simple to use, and they do not require special skills to perform the test. The coating bend test is normally based on a “pass/fail” or “diameter to failure” result, which means you only need to bend the sample around the cylindrical shaft or conical mandrel of the tester and see what happens to the coating on the sample.

Simple, practical, and very useful to determine coating properties such as elasticity, adhesion and elongation of coatings on sheet metal subject to bending.

At this point in the list, you might also be interested in this article: Film mechanical performance measurement.

4. Cupping testers

This is another instrument to control the quality of the protective coating in the industrial painting industry.

With a cupping tester it is easy to evaluate the resistance to cracks and detachment of the coating layers applied on metal substrate.

The test basically consists of three steps:

  1. Clamping the sample into a wheel.
  2. Cupping the sample by a hemispherical indenter onto a die.
  3. Verifying the result to determine the depth of failure.

We offer two different models of cupping testers. The SACT 309 which is manual and provided with an illuminated magnifying glass for easier verification of the result and a digital display to see the value of the depth of failure, and the SACT 310 which is automatic to eliminate the risk of human error and equipped with a digital camera for increased accuracy.

Digital cupping testers SACT309 - SACT310

In photo: Digital cupping testers SACT309 – SACT310

5. Impact testers

Another important aspect for industrial painting is the resistance of the coating to impact. Impact testers can be used to perform a wide variety of impact tests where the main goal is to measure the amount of energy absorbed during a shock that may result in a fracture.

For the industrial painting sector, these testers provide versatility, since they can test different types of coatings, including:

  • Paint
  • Varnish
  • Water-based wood coatings
  • High-viscosity plastic coatings
  • Laminated coatings

The verification methods for the results of these tests include the pass/fail method and the grading method.

For the first method, a standard-weight hammer falling from a determined height is used to see if the test result complies with the normative or not, while for the second one the height or the mass of the hammer are increased gradually to measure the minimum mass and/or height for which the coating layer cracks or breaks from the substrate.

6. Hardness testers

When formulating coatings, industrial painting manufacturers and third-party laboratories need to consider how to balance the properties of the coating for the specific application. An excess of hardness may come with increased in brittleness or a decrease of flexibility, which may not be good for the coating requirements.

Therefore, testing the hardness of the coating is also essential to guarantee high-quality industrial painting. And this can be done based on different standards, which is why there are different instruments.

The most common hardness testers are:

Pencil hardness tester
Buchholz coatings hardness tester
Pendulum hardness tester

hardness testers

In photo: hardness testers by SAMA Tools

We also talked about hardness tester in an article about a Linkedin survay. Click here to read it!

7. Scratch testers

Although they can be considered a type of hardness tester, scratch testers are actually used to measure critical loads related to the adhesion of the coating.

The procedure involves the generation of a controlled scratch with an indenter on a selected area. This is achieved by following these 3 steps:

  1. A stylus is placed in contact with the surface
  2. The stylus is moved with a linearly increasing load until failure occurs.
  3. The load where the failure occurs is measured and recorded as the critical load.

According to test procedures, the load applied can be constant or progressive in order to get different levels of failure.

8. Solvent rub resistance tester (MEK test)

As it was mentioned before, industrial painting is usually applied to protect assets which are exposed to harsh environments. Of course, the coatings applied will suffer wear in the long run due to such exposure.

Here’s where the solvent rub resistance tester becomes important. The test consists of scratching the surface with a gauze soaked with methylethylketone (MEK) until failure of the film occurs.

The type of gauze, the stroke distance, the stroke rate, and approximate applied scratch pressure depend on the standard used for the test.

The scratches are counted as double (one rub forward and one rub backward constitutes a double rub).

The result of the test is a quick relative estimation of the wear degree without having to wait for long-term exposure results.

9. Rub resistance tester

Although the name sounds similar to the previous instrument, the rub resistance tester is used to measure the abrasion resistance of printed materials.

Common materials tested include, but are not limited to:

  • Labels
  • Folding cartons
  • Corrugated boards
  • Packaging materials with graphics on a flat substrate

It is important to highlight that the rubbing in this test is done by means of rubber pads due to the nature of the materials tested.

Rub resistance tester - SAAB630

In photo: Rub resistance tester – SAAB630

10. Rotational abrasion tester

Another important item in this list of 10 instruments for first-class industrial painting is the rotational abrasion tester.

This instrument allows the verification of another essential property of the coating, abrasion resistance. Some coatings are applied on special components which are in contact with other moving components or exposed to abrasion from the wind and other elements, hence the importance of testing this property.

With the rotational abrasion tester, the resistance of the coating is tested using rotary rubbing.

Here are the steps of the process

  1. The sample on the tester rotary plate.
  2. The sample is subjected to the action of two abrasive wheels with determined pressure. The abrasive action is obtained by rotation of the sample along the vertical axis, while two abrasive wheels rotate above it.
  3. The two wheels cover a complete rotation on the surface of sample, and they allow to verify abrasion resistance in every possible angle in respect to the sample.
  4. The abrasion degree is measured and recorded dependent on the load applied which is usually 500g, 750g or 1000g.
  5. The resulting abrasion is measured by the difference in weight of the sample before and after the test.

Before we get to the final conclusions we think you might also be interested in the case study of C&L Verniciatura, using the surface sandblasting roughness tester!

To conclude the 10 best measuring instruments for your industrial painting…

Here you have it, these are the 10 instruments for first-class industrial painting. We are sure that using a combination of instruments from the list will take your industrial painting activities to the next level.

Of course, apart from the instruments shared here, we offer a wide variety of non-destructive testing tools for different purposes.

Because our mission is to support our customers in their quality control activities, we strive to provide them with the best solutions to cover their needs.

No matter whether it is a painting focused industry or a specialized laboratory, customer’s satisfaction is our main goal, and we would be more than happy to see you becoming one of them.

So, if you need help with any of the instruments in the list, or would like advice on the best instrument for your specific case, do not hesitate to contact our technical department.

You can call us at 0584/3923420584/392453 or, alternatively, write an email to


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