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Oerlikon Surface Solutions AG
Pfaeffikon, Branch Balzers
Iramali 18
9496 Balzers

Measuring techniques for quality assurance of Oerlikon Balzers coatings

Measuring techniques for quality assurance of Oerlikon Balzers coatings

Standardized testing procedures ensure that all statements concerning coating quality are always reliable and comparable.

Quality assurance testing methods

Method Attribute Constraints Precision Destructive for
Spherical abrasion Coating thickness Geometry, roughness 0.3 - 0.5 μm





XRF Coating thickness Geometry, composition (element) 0.3 - 0.5 μm no no
Rockwell hardness (HRC) Substrate hardness Substrate hardness Geometry ± 1 HRC yes yes
Rockwell test Coating adhesion Substrate hardness Geometry ± 0.5 HF-Class yes yes
Colour measurement Colour of the coating Planar surface ± 1 CIELAB-unit no no
Contact stylus profilometer Roughness Geometry * no no

* Function of test conditions

Determination of coating thickness using a spherical abrasion test

In this measuring technique, the dimensions of a spherical indentation, abraded in the coated substrate with a steel ball, are determined and used to calculate coating thickness.

1 Rockwell diamond indenter
2 Coating
3 Substrate
4 Coating with HRC indentation (top view)

Coating thickness determined by spherical abrasion measurement testing.

Adhesion testing using the Rockwell method

A conventional Rockwell hardness test (DIN 50103) is carried out, followed by an analysis of the network of coating cracks and flaking around the edges of the indentation using an optical microscope. Coating adhesion is then assigned to one of six adhesion classes.

1 Rockwell indenter
2 Coating
3 Substrate
4 Coating with spherical indentation (top view)

Coating adhesion testing using Rockwell indentation


Coating Guide