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Elcometer 138/2
Surface Contamination Kit

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Measuring the level of contaminants on a surface prior to application of the coating is essential to ensure the quality of the coating and that its optimum lifetime is achieved.

If the coating is applied to a contaminated surface, which is not properly prepared, it could fail prematurely resulting in costly recoating and high maintenance costs.

The Elcometer 138/2 Surface Contamination Kit provides the user with a means for testing invisible surface contaminants including:

  • pH
  • chloride ions
  • iron
  • salts

Chloride Test Strips
Chloride ions on a steel surface increase the probability that corrosion of the steel will take place even if a protective coating is applied. Chloride ions trapped under a coating in the presence of steel and moisture will form a corrosion cell. This corrosion process will result in premature failure of the protective coating and may cause blistering of coatings in immersion service.

The chloride test strips will indicate the concentration of chloride ions in the sample solution and if the area of sample collection and the volume of water is known the concentration can be measured in parts per million or micrograms per millilitre.

Iron Test Strips
Ferrous ions are an indicator of the corrosion of steel as they are formed when the iron oxidises as a result of a corrosion cell formed between the steel and oxygen in the presence of water. The ferrous ion test strips will also indicate the concentration of ferrous ions in a sample solution in the same way as the chloride strips.

pH Test Strips
These strips will determine if a solution or surface is acid or alkaline in nature. Acids form when certain gases are dissolved in water, for example chlorine in water produces hydrochloric acid, carbon dioxide in water produces carbonic acid, sulphur dioxide in water produces sulphuric acid all of which are corrosive to steel.

The presence of these contaminants can either be detected in a solution washed from the surface or by putting a wet ph Test Strip on to the dry surface. pH does not measure the concentration but it does indicate how acidic or alkaline the surface is. Alkaline surfaces are normally associated with either concrete surfaces that are to be coated or steel re-enforcement bars buried in concrete.

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