Film Thickness Gauge For Plastic Parts - Is It Worth The Investment?

Film thickness gauges continue to be a valuable tool in the collision industry. Most shops have gauges that work with both ferrous and non-ferrous substrates. So, should shops invest in a film thickness gauge designed to work with plastic parts?

Film thickness gauges help in the estimating, refinishing, and detailing process. Whether you are trying to determine a previous repair or trying to monitor how much clear has been removed while detailing, the film thickness gauge has proven to be a must have tool. With the introduction of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), the repair options for plastics parts with sensors behind have changed many of the considerations.

Bumper cover repair may or may not be allowed by the manufacture, or only allowed in certain areas. Some OEMs only allow refinishing as a repair. When refinishing a bumper cover there is often a maximum allowable film thickness. The only way to assure the maximum film thickness has not been exceeded is with a film gauge capable of accurately measuring paint film on a plastic substrate. This has caused some OEMs to now require or recommend a plastic film thickness gauge as part of their Certified Collision Programs.

Always be sure to reference the vehicle-specific body repair manual and training materials prior to performing any repairs to help ensure a complete, safe, and quality repair.

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