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Testing wet film properties with film applicators and drawdown charts

An accurate and uniform film thickness is essential for achieving uniform color, appearance and specific physical properties such as scrub resistance, chip resistance, flexibility etc.

Therefore, international specifications as well as company internal testing methods specify not only a minimum film thickness, but also require controlling the film thickness within a defined range.

The most common method of applying a liquid finish in the laboratory is with a drawdown bar or often referred to as a “doctor blade”. This type of film applicator can lay down wet films of almost any desired thickness from a few μm up to 1000 μm (0.1 mil up to 40 mils).

The applicator can lay down wet film on a drawdown chart, either manually or automatically – for a repeatable result – leaving a uniform film.


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