Metallic and effect finishes are popular in the automotive industry, but irregular spots may occur from a disorientation of the metallic flakes and/or variations in film thickness of the basecoat. BYK-Gardner’s portable “cloud-runner” instrument measures this mottling at the paint line by scanning the surface and measuring the lightness variation at different detection angles simultaneously. It provides users with objective measurement data, which enables tolerances to be defined.
Mottling traditionally has been evaluated mainly visually, and so the perceived results have been strongly dependent on the auditor and the different light conditions, the company says. This instrument calculates a “mottling” index, enabling target values to be specified for batch approval and process control.
The unit’s scroll-wheel is designed to be easy to operate, and its large display offers enough space for all statistic data. The recorded measurement series can be transferred to a PC via a docking station, which also charges the battery. A software smart-chart offers flexible analysis functions and enables professional documentation of the measured quality, the company says.