Q. Your response in “Inspecting Paint Texture” in the November issue did not include some new technology out there that can quantify the orange-peel effect. Phased-stepped deflectrometry processes an image of the surface and identifies curvature on a small scale. Features such as orange peel and scratches exhibit a change in curvature, as the light is reflected differently from different areas.
Several car manufacturers in Europe are using this technology to identify their paint quality. As you would expect, different manufacturers have set different standards for their finished product. NASA also looked at a surface-scanning, handheld unit to inspect shuttle tiles for microscopic damage after re-entry.—D.O.
A. The question D.O. is referring to asked whether a response I provided to a related question back in 2003 is still valid. My short answer was that paint texture standards are still not available today, so the response I gave in 2003 still applies. However, D.O.’s information shows that there is a new way to inspect paint texture. Thank you, D.O., for teaching me something new!