This document specifies a method for the measurement of metal coating thickness by first forming a step between the surface of the coating and the surface of its substrate and then measuring the step height using a profile recording instrument. It covers the instrumentation characteristics and the procedure appropriate to this specific application of profilometric methods.
The method is applicable to the measurement of thicknesses of metal coatings from 0,01 µm to 1 000 µm on flat surfaces and, if appropriate precautions are taken, on cylindrical surfaces. It is highly suitable for the measurement of minute thicknesses but, for thicknesses of less than 0,01 µm, surface flatness and surface smoothness are very critical and, accordingly, the method is not suitable for use down to the lowest level of measurement usual for electronic stylus instruments. The method is suitable for measuring coating thicknesses when preparing coating thickness reference standards.